Thursday, April 23, 2009

Picking the Waiata Block today

Tuesday 21 April

Apologies to those of you who are wondering why my Tuesday post is overdue, but I’m travelling for 3 days in Australia promoting our wines. I may send you a post from the Gold Coast tomorrow, just to make those in cooler climates envious!!

Today I thought I would show you past of our quality control process. Everyone makes statements like “we only use the best fruit”. Sometimes when I taste some commercial wines, I really wonder if that is true. Well I can tell you at Murdoch James it is very true. In an earlier post I talked about how crucial it is that the picking team only harvests fruit of a high standard. I also talked about why machine harvesting will never give a winery an opportunity to make the very best wines.

For us though, that is not enough. We also sort one last time what comes in at the winery door and, as you will see from the photos, reject even more fruit at that point - maybe because it is unripe or diseased. Whatever the reason, we are convinced that this rigorous approach is essential to making world-class wines

What Julia and Kyrie are sorting in this case is Pinot Noir from one of our cooler blocks where not all the fruit got ripe. As you can see every bunch gets inspected before going into the destemmer. By my estimation we probably threw away about 10% of the fruit that came in, and probably left another 10% unpicked. That’s a lot of forgone bottles, and has a big economic impact, but unavoidable in making premium boutique wines. The two photos below are of some of the reject fruit.