VINTAGE VIGNETTES: WEEK TWO
Welcome to the second in our series of snippets straight from Chief Winemaker Tim Shand, revealing all the magic and momentum of our first certified organic vintage...
"I'm pleased to report that all the Chardonnay is now in the house, and we can safely call this an excellent year for that variety!
In week two hand-picking continued, completing Blocks 5 and 6 and moving into Block 10 (all Gingin clone). We took a different approach this year, taking the luxury of two separate passes through the vineyard to pick the last of the Chardonnay. In the first pass, the pickers were instructed to pick only the bunches that were clearly visible (located on the outside of the canopy). The hypothesis being that with more sun on them, these bunches would be advanced in both sugar and flavour.
Three days later the pickers returned for the balance with the hope that a bit more time would see those bunches located within the canopy suitably advanced in ripening. Needless to say, it was a long three days of chasing birds around the (netless) block for Glen!
The two batches will always be distinctly different, but the hope is that both will be of better quality than the blended fruit would have been if all picked together.
We finished the week in Block 12 (all 76 clone), a low yielding block near the Cellar Door, which has found itself a small component of MJW in good years. With about an hour left in picking the heavens opened and gave us our first decent rain in four months. The rain hung around for the rest of the day and delivered 10mm in total. Nothing serious but it was a good feeling to have the Chardonnay all picked when it came down!
Whilst giving the whole vineyard a welcome freshen up, the rain does give us some anxiety around our Sauvignon Blanc, which will be next off the vine. We took a pause over the Labour Day long weekend (unheard of in the wine world!) and will hopefully get stuck into it again on Wednesday morning.
Chardonnay ferments have kicked off spontaneously in barrel and the winery is filled with estery stone fruit aromas - a great time to visit the winery on a tour as a few lucky guests discovered today!"