Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ella's Experience

As a newbie to the harvesting scene it was great to get stuck in (literally within the barrels), especially in the brand new La Gare winery. As the ‘Cellar Rat’ of this year I thought I would share with you my version of this year’s harvest.

Working in the vineyards is seriously tough work! At 7am the team of pickers gathers and heads out to the one of the vineyards in and around Tuchan. Everyone is designated their row of vines and off you go with your secateurs and bucket. This is when it’s time to leave it to the professionals who seem to pick at a million miles an hour while you’re still stuck on the first vine...but still great fun!

This year I was lucky enough to spend most of my time working in the winery. It is amazing how there is always a million and one things to do but I have learnt from the professional Katie how to do a serious job of multitasking!

The grapes once picked made their way into La Gare and onto the sorting table, where (after personally being attacked by an army of earwigs) we removed any debris such as leaves. They then continued into the incredible destalker machine that removes all stalks from the berries and then onwards into the press for the whites and into the vats for the reds.

But once in their designated vat, our work didn’t stop there. Twice a day for the reds, juice had to be ‘pumped over’ the skins to extract as much colour and flavour from the skins as possible. Steve got very used to climbing that ladder! All the juice had to be checked daily as well to monitor the fermentation process. And of course, there is always an empty vat or massive pile of cagettes that need cleaning…. Machine a Laver!!!!

We’ve also had some lovely visitors here at Domaine Jones this year.  Many people have popped in for a tasting and a tour, friends and family have come to visit and lend a hand, as well as Katie running a harvesting experience. 

We have had a fab team here at Domaine Jones and have …just about … always had a smile on our faces. It’s amazing how so much activity can be crammed into so short a few weeks but what an experience it’s been. Here’s to many more harvests to come!!!