It's hard to believe that summer is nearly over. We've had a very mild summer and the soil water profile still looks good thanks to the top up rainfall we have received during summer. The result of which is a long ripening period for our grapes. I can't wait to start harvesting our grapes, time will tell but at this stage everything is pointing to a really high quality vintage.
We are all getting itchy feet given this is the latest vintage has started for quite a few years. It's pretty sad when you are driving along, see a harvester and your excitment level peaks. It won't be long now and we'll all have sticky hands and the lab floor will squeek thanks to the juice being trudged through on boots. Then we'll know for sure its vintage!
The winery has been a hive of activity in February with the installation and commisioning of some new pieces of equipment. We're all really keen to start using them. We have a new press that will allow us to press all of our whites without needing to run them through the destemmer and crusher. Why is that important? I'm glad you asked. Tipping the fruit directly into the press will allow us to extract the lovely juice without overextracting skin, seed and stalk tannins, whilst minimising oxygen contact. The aim is to preserve the elegance and varietal characters the vineyard has given us.
The second piece of equipment we have for vintage 2017 is a peristaltic pump. Our winery isn't set up to gravity feed operations so we've gone for the next best thing. A very gentle pump that can not only move our white juices and wines but also help to empty our red fermenters ready for pressing. The theory behind us using this type of pump is similar to that of the new press and that is protection of what the vineyard has given us.
February has also seen our new oak barrels start to be delivered. Now we just need grapes. I'm making an educated guess that in two weeks we will start to harvest our vineyards and we'll come back up for air in May.