Well, vintage 2015 is well and truly upon us with a rush. The mild and dry summer and warm nights have done wonders for the grapes with early ripening and lovely ripe flavours in all varieties. Our first wine to ferment was the blend of Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the Thompson’s Briar Hill vineyard and from Quarry Hill vineyard. The grapes were picked on 1 March and delivered to Andrew McEwin’s winery for crushing and pressing. The clarified juice was then transported to our winery for fermentation. The advantage of this approach for us is to protect the grape juice from air by using Andrew’s air-bag press and to minimise exposure to air before fermentation. The rewards of this are appearing in the vats with lovely fruity aromas and an enticing palate of lychees! We have since used the same approach for our Riesling and Rosé.
On the same day Quarry Hill picked the Sauvignon Blanc, they also picked a block of their Pinot Noir grapes. In this case we crushed the grapes at our winery and have been hand-plunging the fermenting vat twice daily. Again, the fruit aromas of ripe cherry have emerged and we have used a hybrid yeast and whole bunches in the ferment to introduce increased mouthfeel and complexity into the wine. Very promising so far.
Other varieties reaching the winery are Merlot, Shiraz and Viognier and Temperanillo from our home block at Martin Susan’s Point of View vineyard.
I will report more on the development of these wines shortly.