An update from Andy:
At the end of week two of harvest we are about half way with 54 tonnes of grapes now in the winery for processing. These have not been full work weeks as Olly carefully selects sections of the vineyard that are just right for picking and we anticipate about 6 days more picking spread over the next two weeks to complete the season. At this stage all of the Gewurtztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc is picked, we are part way throught the Riesling and have taken some sections of Pinot Noir. The remaining Riesling, all of the Pinot Gris and most of the Pinot Noir is still enjoying a warm Autumn. The canopy on the vines in most of the vineyard has held up well this year so flavours continue to develop in the fruit. Picking by taste and not by brix and acid numbers is to me a wonderful expression of art rather than science.
Our harvest crew has been fantastic and although some of our French workers have left to return home, and Ken – from China – has also moved on – we are looking forward to some great new crew joining the team next week. I’ve been working with the team each day driving tractors and running buckets – and my aches and pains are testimony to the steepness of the slopes and heavy buckets. We are really thankful to the effort our whole team, both permanent staff and casuals, have been putting in and appreciate their care and attention to picking. Our focus on quality has been applied by every member of the team.
The word from the winery is wow! They are really delighted with the quality of fruit coming in and even my limited palate is enjoying the wide range of tropical and berry flavours from the early stages of juice and ferments. The most frustrating part is now waiting until late 2011 or early 2012 before the Pinot Noir from this vintage gets released!