Sunday, April 19, 2009

A stunning weekend

Sunday 19th April

Well, another 2 days full on - again absolutely stunning weather on both Saturday and Sunday so the team are picking in great conditions, and continue to bring in excellent grapes. The winery is now starting to bulge at the seams as all the fermenters are filling up and floor space is at a premium. We are juggling Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir at present and needed some extra help in the winery so that the winery team can get some sleep.

Steve has come in from the vineyard, and we are lucky that an experienced Angela was able to join us – while her day job is olive oil, she has worked in wineries as far away as California – so right from the time she arrived she was in up to her knees in wine. As you will see from the photos, we are needing to jump into the big ferments to break up the hard caps formed by grapes floating on the surface of the wine - lucky ferments are warm. There are some great images of Angela hard at work!

Interestingly, breaking the cap this way is gentler on the grapes than mechanical processes. There is logic in what the old winemakers used to do!

We are now well past the halfway point – just a little more Pinot to come in, then small crops of Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Syrah. We are really thrilled with the quality of the latter, and the warm autumn is ‘polishing’ the fruit to perfection. We have had a great team of pickers this year. All locals, some are real characters, but the most important thing is their experience, which means they only harvest the best grapes. This is a side of vintage often overlooked, but without good pickers, it is hard to keep the standards up. They can make a great deal of difference.