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Mudgee
NSW
Australia

+61 427 791264

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Our News

Filtering by Tag: harvest

VINTAGE 2017 HARVEST EXPERIENCE

Sandy Yeates

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Are you a recent retiree who can't sit still, a city soul looking for a viticulture adventure or just have a bit of time up your sleeve? If so, read on.  Sometime in March we'll be meandering through our vines as the sun rises around us, handpicking the very best of our ripened grapes. We'll then watch on as the grapes are crushed and the winemaking process begins. To celebrate, we'll be hosting an exclusive post-harvest twilight wine and cheese tasting. Keen to join us? 

The event is free, and open to everyone... the only catch being that given the nature of viticulture, we can't pin point exactly what day our grapes will ripen and therefore what day we'll be picking. Therefore, if you do decide to join us, flexibility is key. At this stage, we are expecting to pick sometime in Mid-March, but we'll hopefully know a few days prior to picking and and of course will let those who've signed up for the event know as soon as we can.

If you are interested in participating in this year’s harvest, please email us - you would be a welcome guest. Given the uncertainty in dates, we understand if you sign up to pick grapes but later are unable to attend. 

A NOTE FROM THE VIGNERON

Veraison started 12 days later than previous years (when we picked in late February and early March). This might put vintage into the 2nd week of March but if it stays hot maybe it will come back a few days?

Once the grapes (Shiraz) are ripe we will book a slot at the winery with only a few days notice to organise the picking team. We will start at daybreak when it is cool and try to get the last grapes into the winery before lunch so that the grapes don’t overheat. It is all over very quickly. 

Vineyard News - Veraison & The John West Walk

Sandy Yeates

Much is written about grapevines being part of magnificent symphonies where all the key components arrive harmoniously at a single point in time – vintage.

Harmony is the key. Grape clusters need to arrive on time, be beautifully dressed in dark colours and perform exquisitely under the conductor’s baton with no hi jinx! Recalcitrants and non-conformists are shown the door.

This means the drummers have to sober, the seductive violinists need to keep well apart and not go smooching and the gorgeous sopranos shall not arrived under-dressed or sunburnt.

Veraison (colour change) is like the last lap around the stadium in a long distance race that started on the 15th January – 12 days later than last year.. The process in our Shiraz is likely to be complete in a week’s time, after which sugar levels will increase until the juice triggers a target level (brix) and the grapes taste ripe.

Veraison is a good time to check each grapevine to make sure they are meeting the orchestral standards to deliver exceptional wine. Bunches that are too green are decommissioned; entangled and knotted bunches are separated for better air circulation, weeds growing under the vines are pulled out (organic management) and the vines are skirted (trimmed) to achieve free under vine air movement. It is the same process John West performs with his tuna!

February is Mudgee’s highest rainfall month and the risk of fungal disease (botrytis) triggered by high humidity is at its peak. The next 3 weeks will be like walking across a bed of hot coals in the hope of still having an intact foot at the finish line.

The John West walk takes hours & days and most vineyards don’t do it because of the cost. Our wine consultant’s assessments of our last few vintages vindicates our attention to detail has paid dividends. We are hoping the initiative will work this year as well. All looks good so far!