Horticulture

Bruce Tyrrell, AM
Tyrrell’s Wines, Hunter Valley NSW
“The care of the vineyard soils is perhaps the most important task as it affects the quality and flavour of the fruit. In the Hunter Valley, soils change quite rapidly and so the management of each piece of vineyard can be quite different. This includes the amount of crop to maintain the colour and flavour ratio that makes the style of wine you require from each block.”
 
“As each season is different there will need to be adjustments as the year progresses to make sure you end up with a balanced, disease-free vintage. Our techniques because of our age, and the age of our vines, vary from vineyard to vineyard; they are a mixture of both old and new techniques. All our vines are cane pruned and we know that is what works.”
 
“We have just received our Sustainable Winemaking Australia accreditation, but more importantly we are prepared to change our techniques to suit the season and receive inputs that are available to us. For instance, we now use sunscreen to protect the vines and we leave the western side of the vine to sprawl so there are enough leaves to provide shade during the hot afternoons.”
 
1838 Broke Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320 – www.tyrrells.com.au
Alastair 
Baraja Station, Riverina NSW
“Our business is broadacre cropping and at the moment we’ve got 94 hectares of corn in which we hope to harvest next week; it’s feed corn, not for human consumption. And in the meantime we’re sowing our canola, which is mostly in, and when that’s done we’ll be sowing barley and wheat, and when that’s finished we’ll be busy spreading urea and feeding those crops, keeping them free of weeds, and that’ll take us right through to August.”
 
“A dryland, broadacre cropping system is pretty well what we have and it has evolved over the years; we used to farm peas and lupins but found them unprofitable but they were good because they’re a great crop for putting nitrogen back into the soil. We’ll go back to those at some stage but at the moment we’re in a pattern of canola, wheat and barely and then a pasture phase, so we can control weeds in a pasture phase. So if we go into a pasture phase for two to three years, we make sure that weed seeds don’t set seed; that means we spray top them in spring and ensure we get the seed bank of undesirable weeds in the soil lower before it goes back into a cropping cycle. What that means is that, once we’re in that cropping cycle we don’t have to use chemicals as much and it becomes much more profitable with higher yielding results.”
 
Baraja Station, Riverina NSW