21 Feb VINTAGE UPDATE: Sunday, 21 February
And so it begins!
It is finally time to start harvesting our grapes that have been slowly ripening in the summer sunshine and sometimes, summer rain! While it has been a wetter than normal season, this rainfall has ensured the vines are healthy and happy, the soil has a high moisture content and our dams are full. This past week of beautiful temperatures and dry nights has concentrated the flavours within the grapes and now some of them are ready to be picked.
Today, we will begin picking our Pinot Grigio and Savarro in the cool of the night. This helps retain the fresh aromatics these wines are known for. After processing first thing on Monday morning, they will undergo a cool tank fermentation which usually takes around two weeks.
Later next week, we will hand pick the portion of Wild Savangin for our Solero No 2. This fruit will be foot stomped with the juice drained off and left to ferment by indigenous yeasts in clay eggs.
We also plan to pick our four clones of Pinot Noir depending on their sugar and acid levels; we test these levels twice a week. While we aim to harvest our grapes at optimum sugar level (or baume), this is balanced by the natural acidity occurring in the fruit which decreases as the sugar increases. We also taste the grapes to ensure we get a full flavour profile for each variety. If the flavour is not there, then we let the fruit hang on the vine to ripen a little more and develop the profile we are looking for.
Over the next few days we want this warm, sunny weather to continue so the vines will get everything they need to produce an exceptional vintage. We will keep you posted!