VINTAGE VIGNETTES: WEEK THREE
Welcome to the third in our series of snippets straight from Chief Winemaker Tim Shand, revealing all the magic and momentum of our first certified organic vintage...
"A few days’ breather from harvesting to start the week and a good chance to consolidate our Chardonnay – checking ferments and topping barrels. Broadvale Block 6 Chardonnay was nearly through its first fermentation, so we inoculated to kick off secondary malolactic fermentation (to soften the acid) which will transpire over the next month or so.
By Wednesday morning it was time to push go on picking our Chenin Blanc fruit for the Voyager Sparkling Chenin Blanc. Whilst we love to see crisp acidity in the sparkling base, it’s crucial not to jump too early with picking Chenin as it can carry a green bean or herbaceous note. Again, we were blessed by the season here as the fruit ripened evenly, and we picked the fruit at excellent acidity for sparkling (11 g/L) with pink lady apple notes and not a hint of greenness!
Thursday we were into the Sauvignon Blanc, which is a big portion of the harvest for us. It’ll take five days to pick all the sauvy fruit for the Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, with the Semillon usually a week behind. The picking decision here is around finding a distinct passionfruit flavour in the fruit, again avoiding greenness and any hard acidity. The window came at a low baumé (sugar level) this year.
Silver-eyes, twenty-eights and crows have descended upon us en masse, so the vineyard crew are busy netting the Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet to keep them safe over the next month. We might get a touch of rain on Wednesday, but so far conditions have been ideal for an excellent red harvest. We wait in hope..."