Since embarking on our wine producing adventure, we've had many people show interest in the grape-growing and winemaking process and enquire about getting involved somehow. We too believe that it's a great idea for our subscribers, loyal customers, followers and friends to be more involved. With that said, we'd really like to offer an experiential opportunity that is that is not only enjoyable, but also offers a heightened understanding of what we're about and a chance to play a small yet critical role in the production of YEATES wines. So, after much discussion over family dinners we decided that it might be great fun to offer people a chance to get outdoors and help us pick our grapes this year and ultimately, help us to enhance the quality of our 2015 wines.
GRAPE PICKING HISTORY & THE NEW 2015 APPROACH
Over the past 3 vintages we've been harvesting our grapes using mechanical harvesters. While very efficient, they tend to select grapes indiscriminately and often in a way that can damage the vines. For this reason, in 2015 YEATES will be handpicking our grapes for the first time. We believe this is an important step towards further improving the quality of our wine. This year, we'll be picking 1.3 hectares of Shiraz grapes, which have been grown organically (although not certified yet). Once picked, the grapes will promptly be transported to nearby Robert Stein Winery, where our winemaker Jacob will begin the winemaking process.
The exact date of picking is yet to be determined and will be calculated based on the speed of ripening and of course the weather. At this stage, we predict it will be sometime in the last week of February, so for those interested in picking, please be patient and a little flexible when it comes to planning and we'll be sure to keep you posted on our plans . We will need a volunteer team of around 15 to 18 people to help us pick and if you can handle an early morning start in the great outdoors and you have an easygoing can-do attitude and a flexible schedule, then we think you'll make a fantastic addition to our team! Please keep in mind though that numbers are limited so we'll be selecting our crew of pickers on a first-come, first-served basis.
We'll probably get moving around 6.30am and with a bit of luck, we'll get the job finished by early afternoon. During this time we'll provide morning smoko (tea & a light snack) plus a light picnic lunch in the vineyard. Once picking is complete, we'll follow the grapes to the winery and watch them being crushed. If we're lucky, we'll then see the juice being placed in fermentation tanks for the beginning of the winemaking process which will ideally be done using organic winemaking procedures. Here you will also get to meet our winemaker, Jacob Stein, who in 2012 won the Australian Gourmet Traveller 'Young Winemaker of the Year' award. Finally, to finish off the day we'll host a well deserved tasting of our wines, including an exclusive pre-release tasting of our 2013 Cabernet & 2013 Shiraz followed by an intimate dinner for our VIP guests (you) at Ivanhoe - one of Mudgee's historic homes.
If you and your friends or family are interested in participating in this unique experience and sampling some of our wines, then please email us at email@example.com as soon as possible so that we can send you some info on accommodation options in Mudgee and details on what to bring and when to come. Again, please remember that numbers are limited and so we'll be selecting our 'picking team' on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Yeates Family