Sunday, September 4, 2016

Harvest Diary 2016 - a pressing question

It's been all go last week at Domaine Jones as the white harvest starts to come in.  Lovely but small berries of Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc from our vines in Maury and in Tuchan have been hand picked in to our blue harvesting crates and brought back to the Gare winery.  

Temperatures have soared reaching 35° by midday so we are only picking in the early morning and then chilling the grapes down when they arrive at the winery.  They get to spend the evening in an air-conditioned container just next to the winery.  It’s a rather chilly 5°C but given the extreme heat in the vineyards you can almost hear the grapes' sigh of relief.

Crates of grapes on their way to be chilled

Given the small size of the berries this year we have decided to press whole bunches rather than destemming like we have in previous years.

Leaving the stalks on means that the grapes have something firmer to press against as the big balloon in the pneumatic press expands and the stalks also help as drainage channels for the juice.  But we definitely don’t want any stalky flavours so we selected a very gentle cycle.

Whole bunches of Grenache blanc going into the press