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Are you legally old enough
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to enjoy terroir-driven whisky?

Farmer’s Eye View
One farm, one terroir, one vintage
March 23, 2023 | ELEMENT: air, barley | editorial | 5 minute read

What does a growing year look like? Well, different for every farm is the answer — or distilling single terroirs wouldn’t be much fun. But it’s not often we get to see a full vintage — the entire growth pattern of barley for a year — captured in one place.

Based in Co. Waterford itself, Con Murphy lives just west of Tramore, a few miles south west of distillery. His farm benefits from a beautiful coastal exposure and much the same maritime air as our whisky matures in in the nearby warehouses of Ballygarran. Despite exposure to the elements, the lush, thick, limestone derived clay of the Elton series nourishes barley to a beautiful equilibrium of sugar and phenolic ripeness. Indeed it’s a farm we feel espeially connected to, since Con’s son-in-law, James, is part of the team at the distillery. 2022 seems to have been a superb vintage for our growers, and we’ll soon be malting and distilling Con’s own harvest at ‘The Facilitator’.

In the meantime, enjoy this wander through the 2022 growing season on Copper Coast, from 16th March to harvest day on 8th August (early, as many of our south coast growers are, to beat those late summer storms).

 

Photos taken by James Elickson (Distiller, WD)
Photo captions by Jeffrey O’Conner.

Day 0
Day 0: Freshly ploughed ground, friable looking soil showing good tilth
Day 1
Day 1: Well tilled, consolidated seedbed, for good soil & seed contact
Day 9 – Seedlings starting to emerge
Day 9: Seedlings starting to emerge
Day 13 – Leaves starting to unfold nicely. Plant number per sq meter achieved
Day 13: Leaves starting to unfold nicely. Plant number per sq. meter achieved
Day 17: Nine or more leaves unfolding from main stem
Day 17: Nine or more leaves unfolding from main stem
Day 22: Good number of tillers, important for yield and grain fill
Day 22: Good number of tillers, important for yield and grain fill
Day 27: Healthy. Good tillering, green area with no nutrient deficiency
Day 27: Healthy. Good tillering, green area with no nutrient deficiency
Day 47: Stem elongation phase
Day 47: Stem elongation phase
Day 59: Crop well established. Ready to move into pre-flower stage
Day 59: Crop well established. Ready to move into pre-flower stage
Day 67: First sprinkles of the ear just showing
Day 67: First sprinkles of the ear just showing
Day 73: Flowering almost complete, grains now ripening quickly
Day 73: Flowering almost complete, grains now ripening quickly
Day 88: Grain dough starting to harden
Day 88: Grain dough starting to harden
Day 95: Grain fill almost complete, milky dough stage, grain soft to touch
Day 95: Grain fill almost complete, milky dough stage, grain soft to touch
Day 105: Crop standing well, good ripening of grain, not long to harvest stage
Day 105: Crop standing well, good ripening of grain, not long to harvest stage
Day 127: Head dropped, showing full ripening, ready to harvest
Day 127: Head dropped, showing full ripening, ready to harvest
Day 132: Harvest time! Standing well, ensuring maximum yield potential
Day 132: Harvest time! Standing well, ensuring maximum yield potential
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