Our wines are 100% estate-grown here in Murrumbateman and 80% of the effort in making award-winning wines starts in the vineyard.
While the recent rains may be welcome for some farmers, it’s not great to have too much rain at this time of the year for the vines. We have been spraying to prevent powdery mildew which occurs with wet and humid conditions. Powdery mildew has a devastating impact on the vines and grapes, so we are doing our best to keep the vineyard as healthy as possible. At this stage, the fruit looks great for the 2021 vintage.
The rains have meant that we’ve delayed netting the vines for as long as we can, just in case we need to spray again. However, veraison (when the berries start to ripen) waits for no-one which means the nets must go on! In mid-February the crews will be rolling the nets out across the vineyard and this is to protect the grapes from birds.
As the fruit ripens, Graeme will choose when to pick based on the sugar, acid and flavour levels in grapes. There is a proverbial ‘sweet-spot’ that he is looking for in the grapes, and it is discovered through a combination of analysis of the acids and sugars and sensory analysis from eating the grape berries and chewing on the seeds to assess flavour levels and tannin ripeness. When he finds the desired characteristics, we fire up the harvester.
We have over 70 acres of vines, so handpicking is not a cost-effective option for us. We machine harvest our grapes which means we can pick as soon as the grapes are ready and can do so with only a crew of 3. Check out our YouTube videos of the harvester in action. It’s an impressive piece of machinery to watch.
Cheers to vintage 2021!