Friday, October 21, 2016

Harvest Diary 2016 - Seven year itch?

And the lid comes down on the vat of another harvest.  Our seventh in fact! Just as quickly as it started the harvest is over.

The first bunch was picked on 29th August and the final berries plucked on the 29th September -  a relatively quick harvest because of the low yields which allowed the grapes to ripen evenly and quickly.  The forest fire that we had just before we picked the reds doesn't seem to have had any major effect on the quality of the wine. Even our firebreak vineyards which we have carefully separated from the rest of the harvest are not showing any untoward smokey flavours.

But after the mayhem of the harvest there is a lovely sense of calm as the grapes finish fermenting and we start to get to know the personality of each of our wines.  We have 20 small vats and barrels from our different vineyards so we have quite a task on our hands but it is intriguing to see how individual they all are.

There are the well behaved ones and then the not so well behaved that take a bit more looking after.

So as we wait for the final grammes of sugar to be fermented and cross our fingers that the malolactic fermentation will kick in straight away, we say a massive thank you to all those who made our 7th vintage one to remember.

But am I starting to itch?  After seven years am I thinking perhaps that the grass is greener on the other side?  PAS DU TOUT!  There is so much to learn, every year is different, every year is organised chaos but less chaotic than the previous one.

I just had the best harvest ever, the team was solid, everyone mucked in, every one kept smiling from the vineyards to the vat - I loved it - roll on 2017!

Behind every great wine, there is a great team of people