For our first blog I tought I'd let you know what summer time is like in the vineyard and winery.
Living in a cool climate means that we won't be harvesting our grapes until at least mid March. This slow ripening period allows the grapes to accumulate lots of flavour, whilst retaining natural acidity, which means we end up with fresh, aromatic, crisp styles of wine from our part of the world. Most of the hard work has already been done in the vineyard. The excess shoots were removed in mid spring, and nearly all of the wires have been lifted. This means that we have evenly spaced vertically positioned shoots which allows for good air and sun exposure for the fruit. We are currently in the process of leaf plucking all of the vines. This means manually removing the shoots in the fruit zone which again results in more fruit exposure. This exposure is required for two reasons: 1. it allows for better air flow around the bunches of grapes which lessens the threat of fungal diseases such as botrytis, and 2. it allows for better tannin and clolour development in our red wines.
The picture above is of our Riesling grapes. As you can see the berries are still quite small and they are still hard, they will continue to enlarge in size over the next few weeks and then start to go soft. This process is known as veraison. At this point the grapes unfortunately become palatable to birds and we have to net our entire vineyard so prevent our crop being destroyed by starlings and silver eyes.
So far this season we have been very lucky with the weather and it has been warm and dry resulting in great growing conditions. We have also been fortunate enough to not be in any of the bush fire zones that have been so devestating in Southern Tasmania.
In the winery it is time to start getting the 2012 reds and 2012 Chardonnay bottled. We will start by bottling our early drinking reds next week, which will then create some tank space so we can blend our Pinot and Chardonnay. Apart from vintage, this is my favourite time of year in the winery. Tasting the different barresl and batches of wine and seeing how particular trials have turned out is lots of fun.
Pinot d' Pig would also like to let you know that he is having a great summer, cellar door visitation has exceeded expectaion and he is getting fed lots of apples, so he is a very happy pig.
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