Vintage 2013 started with a bang this week- and is certainly gaining momentum as everything ripens up.
We started on Tuesday with Frontignac (Moscato) and Vermentino. Both came off without a hitch. The Vermentino went straight into the basket press as whole berries, and the juice gently extracted. Vermentino has quite large berries naturally, and the boys in the winery thought it was pretty entertaining to play marbles with them! The juice had notes of lemongrass and ginger- very fragrant. It is now sitting in tank waiting for the natural yeasts to start the fermentation.
Today we picked our first Shiraz for the year. The Cemetery block is often the first block of reds picked, and this year continued on trend. It is so named, as it is the block that surrounds our family crypt- built in 1847 and containing our first generation family pioneers. We were a little worried that crop levels would be very low, but they have turned out to be only just below average at 2t/acre, which is brilliant. The cemetery block was machined picked and then went through the destemmer (removes any stems), berry sorter (removes any raisined berries, leaf, petioles, earwigs or millipedes) and into the open fermenter. I am very happy with the chemistry of the juice (13.8 Baume, 3.5pH, 6.3 TA), pretty close to perfect, and super happy with the flavour in the berries. Looks like it will be an intensely flavoured year, with great tannin structure, and great natural acidities. Excitingly, this is the first block that we have farmed completely organically for 2 years now, so we are looking forward to watching the ferment progress, and seeing if there is a quality improvement as well.
Saturday we are picking our Tempranillo- looking forward to getting this little morsel into the winery.
Then next week goes pretty mental- Four more Shiraz blocks and handpicking the Fiano. Good times….
More from me next week.