Friday, July 10, 2009

This week, Carl (our winemaker) is wrestling with something no winemaker likes to talk about; a ‘stuck’ ferment. By ‘stuck’ we mean a ferment that stops before the wine is fully fermented. While not a common problem, it is a serious one to manage. Getting a ferment started again is both time-consuming and difficult. Without going into a lot of technical detail, stuck and sluggish fermentations happen when the uptake of glucose and fructose in the ferment is reduced or stopped as a response of the yeasts to various stresses. What we now have to do is get it sorted out as soon as possible, to protect the quality of the wine. It means a lot of work and worry for Carl.

On the lighter side, I found this lovely image of our Consultant Winemaker (David) getting a potential new consumer interested in wine.

In the vineyard pruning is about 50% complete. We have a new team this year that are very diligent and conscientious; the quality of work is great and gets us in great shape for next year.

It was a very frosty morning today, starting at a crisp -3C, but now a beautiful sunny day. Frosts in winter cause us no concern, but they will in spring, as the grapes are starting to bud. We use all of wind machines, helicopters and frost pots to fight the frosts. Best of all though is using water control. It is very efficient and environmentally friendly, but what I like most is the result in the morning as the sun rises. Have a look at the accompanying image - truly beautiful - this is sunrise on a frosty morning at our Waiata block, in the Dry River region.