’19 Harvest Update

March 26th 2018

Picking commenced 28th February with a 2 ton of Pobblebonk Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.  The summer has been dry, we are perhaps starting a few days earlier than a decade ago. Years of zero herbicide, voluminous cover crops and a steady spreading of compost and manure pays the dividend of drought tolerance. We halted for a few very hot days and then urgently picked Seventeen Rows, Tussie Mussie and Campbell and Christine Vineyard Pinot Noirs. Then back through the same vineyards to pick their Pinot Gris/Grigio; odd as usually white ripen first.

Musk Creek Vineyard reverted to Pinot Gris 18th March and Pinot Noir 19th and 20th. It’s perhaps 7-10 days earlier, but we went European, picking a little under instead of full blown ripeness. Near perfect grape skin and stronger acidity than most vintages.

Joe Vaughan’s Moscato Bianco that is our Secco Splendido arrived overweight. We all groaned thinking of all the bottles and riddling, but really its testament to Joe’s investment in mulching and manuring, gradually building up the soil capability to nurture vineyards.

We wait now for our late season Moscato Giallo, Friulano, Riesling and Malvasia Istriana. They are all heavy bunches that ripen late in the season. They need rain to keep the flow of nutrition from soils to vine to grape.

In a corner of Tussie Mussie Vineyard, Pinot Gris is succumbing to a slow creep of botrytis. A ripeness level pre-botrytis of 14-15 baumé augers well for sweet wine. We are also awaiting for Moscato Rosa at Musk Creek to shrivel to sweetness.