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Displaying items by tag: 2013 harvest
Monday, 23 September 2013 15:28

End of the '13 White Grape Harvest

End of the 2013 White Grape Harvest


All six of our white grape varieties have now been harvested and their juice is safely in tanks in the winery.  The early varieties such as the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are almost finished primary fermentation, whilst the latest varieties that were picked over the weekend, the Marsanne and Roussanne, have been cold stabilised, racked and will gently begin their fermentation over the next couple of days.  It has been a very intense white harvest due to the late start, with more overnight picking in quick succession than in previous years.  Happily apart from one very wet weekend, which halted the harvesting, the weather has been stable we have been able to pick at the optimum time for each variety.


Along with the whites we have also been harvesting reds for rosé, which has added to the intensity of the past couple of weeks.  We treat these red grapes as if they were white, separating the juice from the skins immediately to ensure that there is not too much extraction of colour or tannins.  This morning was the final pick of Mourvedre for rosé and the grapes came in looking clean, fresh and full of flavour.


Later this week we will turn our focus to red grapes for our red cuvées.  We already have two large tanks of Syrah in the winery, which are gently pumped over on a daily basis to extract colour and tannins from the skins and which, after pressing will complete fermentation and age in oak barrels.  This week we will be picking Grenache and Merlot.


So a large part of the harvesting is behind us and although there is still a lot of work to be done to complete the creation of our 2013 wines, the riskiest part and constant weather watching is nearly over.  Hurrah!



Published in Wine talks
Saturday, 14 September 2013 08:01

2013 Harvest Update

2013 Harvest Update


The late-starting 2013 harvest has now picked up speed and is proving to be as full-on as we expected it to be.  The first Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes for still wine were picked on 29/30/31st of August, the latest start date ever for still wine!  In that first tranche we also picked our small block of Muscat, which came in with its usual intense aromatics – proving once again a little goes a long way!


As usual, we don't pick all of the same variety at once.  Our goal is to obtain a flavour spectrum from our fruit, so we take some deliberately early for vibrant varietal characteristics and acidity and then later picks for more luxurious texture and sugar content.  So that being said a little under one week later we harvested a second tranche of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.


At that stage we were forced to pause due to torrential rain (65mm), which meant that there was a risk of dilution as the vines absorbed the water and quite frankly we couldn't take a tractor or harvester into the vineyards!


As of yesterday morning we were able to start again, when we were taking the first harvest from our new block of Roussanne and Viognier, whose yields were remarkably healthy for their first year.  This is most likely due to the wet spring we had this year, which has meant no hydric stress across the vineyards.  We were also starting to pick some early reds for Rosé and will be continuing with this over the next couple of days in addition to harvesting some Merlot for red wine.


The early mornings don't get any easier, but it is good to already have a third of our grapes off the vines and the juice safely in the winery.  The fruit is clean and we're delighted with the quality so far, which makes it all worthwhile!

Published in Wine talks