This is the time of year winemakers live for. Trying to anticipate the weather, the health of the vine and the vintage conditions keeps us all on edge as we prepare to make the best wine we can.
The consistent heat and rain of December and January has made disease management a challenge across the vineyard. Our only real concern is to ensure the fruit doesn’t get sunburn as the fruit ripens through veraison (changing colour).
Maris Feldgwen, now manages our vineyard and he has ensured a little extra leaf canopy to shield the fruit bunches from the heat of the sun.
Winemkaer, Ben Haines has been assessing the fruit across all varieties and the flavours in the grapes are progressing at a steady rate. The key decision, as always will be choosing the moment to pick the fruit so not to let the fruit become too ripe on the vine, leaving us with fresh natural acidity for structure, texture and life of each wine in bottle.
The Bordeaux varieties (merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec) we grafted two years ago will be picked for a new blend we have in mind for the 2018 vintage, which makes for another exciting year in the winery.
The only changes planned for the vineyard this year is to graft new buds of marsanne and cabernet sauvignon on to new rootstock, which will help to keep our vineyard free of phylloxera and ensure we maintain the geological map of the site suitable to each variety.
Be sure to visit the Cellar Door over February and March to watch the 2018 harvest in action and taste the new vintage fruit as it comes fresh off the vine.
It’s certainly an exciting time in wine.
Marsanne seedlings propagated in the greenhouse prior to grafting onto rootstocks.