Ever wondered why vineyards always looks so picture perfect, with bunches upon bunches of grapes ripening under the sun? I found out yesterday with my first vineyard task, leaf-plucking along the rows to expose the young grapes, so that they can dry out better in the wind (it has been raining a lot) and get some sun too. Interesting fact: they keep sheep to do this task for them too (much more efficiently no doubt) but there is only a very narrow window of time in which the sheep will eat only the leaves and not the fruits. Yesterday the sheep weren't very interested in the vines at all, concentrating on the grass instead.
My inexperienced progress was slow and the rows were neverending.... D (a girl from ireland who has been traveling wih her husband for 18months and has been here 4days) next to me moved like a machine - hands in a blur and sidestepping at a constant pace, she did almost 2 bars ( a bar is from post to post of vines) to my one. Trying to catch up with her occupied me mightily till lunch, after lunch I thought I made some progress but that might be because the weather slowed us both down. What you need for a day outside here is sunscreen, sunhat, raincoat and wellington boots. Sleeting rain and burning sunshine are only 5 minutes apart and they alternate frequently.
We did some tucking (of vines back within rows of wires on each side of the vines so they don't grow all over the place) after afternoon tea, lagged behind the 2 guys and D again, also managed to quite amazingly get lost among the rows (they are short for a stretch then become very long further out into the property.)
Had a great dinner with the family (dinner is usually very yummy) good wine and we chatted more to Mandy's husband. Was rather shocked when someone said they thought Asia was a very relaxed tranquil place. Asia?? But they agreed not Singapore, obviously.