VINTAGE VIGNETTES: WEEK ONE
Welcome to the first in our series of snippets straight from Chief Winemaker Tim Shand, revealing all the magic and momentum of our first certified organic vintage...
"It was all smiles in the winery and vineyard as we finished up week one of Vintage 2023! The sunny, dry spell that commenced in November shows no sign of abating, and we’ll harvest all our Chardonnay fruit in perfect conditions.
Picking commenced on Wednesday in Broadvale Block 6 with our Clone 95 Chardonnay. A universal truth of white grapes is that your best vineyards ripen first and that was the case again this year. Flavour (lime, pear drop...) came at low baumés as well as a lovely acidity – a sure sign of a standout vintage.
On Thursday, we moved over to Broadvale Block 5 – the Gingin Clone. The first pick in this larger block is in the western end, which sees the most sun in the afternoon. The block copped an early weevil attack in spring, but quick work from Glen and the team saw a Lazarus-like recovery! Flavours here are more toward the lemon spectrum, with some fig notes in the more exposed bunches. Again, we couldn’t have dialled up the press analysis any better with tight but refreshing acidity in the juice, and a lovely green hue.
Warm days and cold nights continued into day three and four of harvest, appreciated by the Chardonnay vines and harvesting humans alike! Broadvale Block 12 Clone P58 (planted in 2016), which has traditionally gone into Coastal Chardonnay, showed glimpses throughout the growing season that it has come of age. The fruit is going into the press as we speak, and has a nice mix of barrels laid out for filling later in the day. Fingers-crossed it will make its debut in the Voyager Estate blend this year.
Looking forward, by mid-next week, we’ll have broken the back of the Chardonnay pick and will be tentatively looking at Sauvignon Blanc for a start date. With the ideal conditions we’ve had, reds will be knocking on the door as well. Birds remain a constant threat as the Marris have failed to blossom thus far, but with nets going out fast there’s no complaints and plenty of optimism here."