Friday, 29 January 2010

Kintarla - 2009 Shiraz

Kintarla 2009 Shiraz Label

Our 2009 Shiraz will be bottled in the next month or so. This is our first vintage so we are very excited and on a steep learning curve.

Designing the labels was a lot of fun. There is an old dead tree which we wanted to feature on the front label. The visual designers at the Label House have done a great job (in our opinion anyway).

The next step is to update our website which is looking decidedly dodgy at the moment.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Kintarla - Vintage 2010 Verdelho

Australia Day Harvest

We had our first crop of Verdelho picked on Australia Day (26 Jan 2010). About 1.5 tonne was the final weight of grapes which we supplemented with another 1.5 tonnes from neighbouring vineyards.

The fruit was a bit damaged from hail that we had in December but seems to have held up fairly well considering. Lisa skidded the ute into one of the end posts due to the wet and greasy conditions (it rained the night before). I think we should have bought a 4WD!

Last year the Shiraz wasn't ripe until late Feb, it will be interesting to see if there is any difference this year. We did a heap of bunch thinning on the 25th Jan which should help the remaining bunches ripen. We probably dropped about 1/3rd of the crop.

GeoDefense Swarm Strategy - Hard Level 10 (Crazy 88's)

The Jab Solution...

This level seems to be a favourite with folks. Here is another solution submitted by Jab.

Over to Jab to explain...

Hi everybody.

I am happy to see that many people love this game as I do ^^
I manage to go until wave 261 with 2 830 millions , but the score did not save..
Hopefuly, I took screenshots :-p
My technique is simple : I do not juggle. I use all kind of towers and make the creep pass by the corner back right after the fast 8.


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

GeoDefense Swarm Strategy - Hard Level 10 (Crazy 88's)

Tactics for getting High Scores over 3,000,000,000

Kevin from Chicago sent me through his tactic for generating huge high scores (Thanks Kevin). Let me hand you over to Kevin to describe how...

"My simple trick to getting high scores (and not necessarily high levels) is at the very beginning of the game. If a creep comes to within the last one or two hexes before the exit when you kill them, you get a bonus: x5, x10, x20, or x50 if it is really the last moment.

These scores affect the scoring multiplier for the entire rest of the game.

So, to get significantly higher scores without any kind of fancy trickery with your pattern, just start the level by killing the creeps just before they exit for several rounds. There are few pretty predictable positions to kill creeps for bonus points in the first rounds. Once you know what you are after, you can get the multiplier up to x500 within the first 10 or so rounds.

After I get the multiplier up, then I focus in on just making sure none of the creeps escape, which is pretty easy in this level.

Attached is my high score and my pattern. I am pretty sure a more optimal pattern exists, but this one works quite well.
I made it to level 237 with a similar pattern, but it won't go much further. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to micromanage the towers vs. specific creeps..."

Kevin from Chicago

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Kintarla - 2010 Vintage

It is an exciting time in the vineyard as the 2010 harvest approaches. We have just finished the label design which was great fun. The following are the tasting notes for our 2009 Shiraz, which are currently in French oak barrels and will be bottled in March:

The wine is crimson red in colour with a vibrant purple hue. This is an elegant Shiraz offering aromas of ripe plum, cherry, spice, and toasty oak. The complex palate is rich and full, offering great flavour intensity, balance, and length. This well structured wine should mature gracefully over the next 5 years”

We are hoping to get a Shiraz and Verdelho crop this year. Both took a hammering during the hail storms in December but fingers crossed. The Semillion didn't make it - maybe next year!

The following are some notes from our vineyard consultant on the December conditions and there effects on the grapes.

The weather features that affected the vineyard this month were:

Ø After a very warm November, December was also a degree warmer than the average daily temperature based on the 30-year average, and we had 15 days over 30C, and quite a few close to 40C. These hot days were interspersed with very mild days.

Ø The first 3 weeks of December were very dry and we were beginning to run low on water levels stored in dams and in the soil. Christmas time heralded the beginning of the cyclone-influenced cycle we are seeing now… warm dry days followed by humid, showery milder periods lasting 7 to 10 days.

Ø Humidity stayed low during the first half of the month but once the rain started on Boxing Day it was very high, and has remained that way well into January.

The results of these conditions were:

- Many vines kept growing and new disease infections appeared. Downy mildew pressure returned in the last week of the month, and spraying was problematic with the regular showery, and often windy, conditions. Once downy mildew infection became established, it has been very difficult to totally eradicate, although in most vineyards it is now under control.

The rain at the end of the month has come at a bad time in terms of coinciding with the vine stage of berry swelling and veraison. In any tight-bunch varieties (like Semillon and chardonnay) this has led to berries splitting. With the humidity levels as they are Botrytis was the inevitable result. This has red berries (eg in shiraz) rapidly expanded , the hail scars became loci for splitting, exposing seeds and flesh to Botrytis spores, ubiquitous to our Hunter environment.

It is tough being a farmer...

GeoDefense Swarm Strategy - Hard Level 10 (Crazy 88's)

Welcome to 2010.

Here is a solution to GeoDefense Swarm Hard Level 10 sent to me by Telo. I will hand you over to Telo now to explain what is happening...

"The first pic shows the route the creeps take, I drew on the route in pea green to show it clearer, and the second pic is my score at the end. I'm going to have another go at it soon! Hopefully do better second time."

Telo wiped out 239 waves using this strategy, which kicks the arse of my solution. If anyone can do better and is willing to share then shoot your solution through and I will post it.