If it already seems such a long time ago that we first picked grapes this year, that's because it is a long time ago! We started back on the 4th of February, it's now the end of March and I reckon we'll be going for anther month yet.

Looking back through my diary and tasting the wines in barrel and tank, there are already some very promising signs of a fantastic vintage.

First cab off the rank was the Chardonnay at St Leonards and All Saints Estate blocks. These have got some lovely clean citrus and stone fruit characters already. We fermented some in barrel for extra complexity and the rest in tank to preserve the gorgeous fresh fruit flavours. The 2010 Family Cellar Chardonnay is going to be one of the best we have made.

Then came the Semillon. This can sometimes be a bit tricky, especially in rainy vintages, but being an early ripener it was picked in perfect condition before the heavy rains came along. This has been a delight during fermentation, really expressive with loads of passion-fruit and herbal aromas. We shall be using some for the Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends and the rest for our St Leonards Petit Blanc. Some was fermented in old oak for the Alias.

Hooray - a cracker of a Riesling! Sadly, our Riesling block is in a bit of a frost pocket and tends to get zapped pretty badly. Last year we had no fruit at all! This year was still given a bit of a tickle by Mr Jack, but we managed enough to press it as an individual batch. If all goes to plan we should get something like 4000 bottles. The accountant's tears are balanced by my delight as the low yield has given the fruit wonderful intensity. It looked lovely, went through its fermentation beautifully and just needs finishing and putting into glass as neatly as possible. Snap up your share when it is released, because it won't last long. It will be strictly a cellar door and wine club offering.

Marsanne. I know a parent shouldn't have a favourite but if pressed, I'd have to say Marsanne is mine. This was a nerve racking vintage for this variety. It has quite tight bunches and is prone to rot. The big rains came at a bad time and caused a little split in the bunches, just as we were planning to pick. That's when winemaking and viticultural smarts come into play, and we also get to benefit from our small size and flexibility. After the rain, we waited a couple of days for the berries to recover from their water uptake, but before the rot started to run riot. Then we put together a big team of pickers and went through carefully selecting the best bunches. I also took a bit of a punt on the weather with 1/3rd of the block, leaving it out to ripen further. Twelve days later we went out again. As expected there was some damage, but by hand selecting bunches we managed to pick some gorgeous fruit with a completely different and riper flavour profile than the first pick. It was a lot of expense and effort, but the results will be worthwhile. The family Cellar Marsanne has developed into one of our best loved and most eagerly anticipated wines. We have an heirloom block, now 50 years old and a regional specialty to look after, so of course we should try our very best with it.