Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Pirie Hypothesis
How can you tell if its going to be a great vintage? Well there is no foolproof way. But Andrew Pirie, who earned Australia's first PhD in viticulture in the 1970s when he conducted studies throughout Australia that led to his identification of Pipers Brook as a suitable vineyard site, has an idea from those old days as a student. "It was to do with how much sugar got into the berry each day just after colour change," he says, referring to veraison, the period when the grape begins to ripen. "I still haven't come up with a better idea than that, because that is the critical period when the berry's machinery is fed by sugar from the leaves and the machinery is only in operation for a couple of weeks. "If you were able to plot that, you would probably find that it did help to describe what made a great vintage." More->

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