It seems to be that the weather is all I talk about! The Blackwood River flooded from rains up North of Perth but fortunately no damage to us not like our friends in the Swan Valley and even down the road here! With all that water comes humidity and that can play a big part in the grapes developing Botrytis, which is grape rot. So all vineyards were busy monitoring the fruit and dropping any that may show signs. We hand pick our fruit, so we can pick the best bunches. Our rule is, if you wouldn't eat it then don’t pick it!! Not the case for machine harvests, whereby everything, including whatever is crawling along the vines is shaken into the bins!!!
We have completed the dropping of slow ripening fruit in the Shiraz and the grapes are looking good.
We test the grapes Baume which is the sugar content of the juice by its density. We pick a representative number of berries from all rows taking a berry from different spots on the bunch, crush it (with a very technical piece of kit – a potato masher) and strain the juice. We then measure the temperature, taste for flavour and use a refractometer to test sugar levels. When we reach an ideal Baume we pick the fruit!
And as such Vintage has commenced in the vineyard with the picking of the 2017 Chardonnay yesterday. Winemaker is happy and using the word 'awesome'… which he uses very sparingly… Great day, great fruit so very pleased.
The Shiraz will be another 2-4 weeks before it is ready for harvest.
Another GOLD medal at the Timber Towns Wine Show for the 2015 Chardonnay!! That is 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze and a Trophy Award for that vintage.
What a joy it is to make a great Chardonnay!