Nick’s Vintage Update: February 2021

Article last updated 16, February 2021

We've well and truly started with vintage now; one of the year's busiest times in the vineyard and winery. A lot of groundwork had to be done in the vineyard first – the pruning, trellis work and vine health are all covered. The vineyard crew of Stuey and Will carried out the maintenance checks on the machinery, including the harvester and tractor.

One of the most critical tasks is an accurate yield estimate of each vineyard block by variety. This gives me a guide to which varieties will fit into which tanks, how many barrels will be required, how many kilograms of each type of yeast will be needed, and so on. Preparation in the winery included getting as many tanks emptied as possible for the incoming vintage, waxing the concrete fermenters, servicing the bag press, ordering new barrels and sourcing the yeast, the list goes on. 

With the recent weekly rains, the Chardonnay has ripened beautifully, and so we decided to pick the All Saints Estate Chardonnay at the start of that first week in February. Then we picked the St Leonards Chardonnay and Carters Vineyard Chardonnay later that week. Carters will be made into a wine in its own right for the first time, so that's the one to look out for later this year. Next week (w/c 22 Feb) we will start to pick the All Saints Marsanne and the Shiraz blocks.

We have had significant rain, so I have been walking the blocks to ensure the vineyard's remaining fruit looks happy. As always at this time of year, I have my fingers and toes crossed for Mother Nature to be kind until all the grapes are inside.