We have had an eventful few weeks.
The white veil of netting covers the ripening fruit only to be disturbed by the fickle winds and willie willies that give the birds occasional access to what is rather a small crop. Harvesting the chardonnay and pinot noir appears to be about five weeks away (2011 was concluded April 25th, 2008 March 18th).
We have successfully bottled the 2011 Composition Chardonnay, 2011 Composition Pinot Noir and the 2011 Pyrette Heathcote Shiraz. The wines looked very fresh and intense prior to bottling and will now require four to six months to fully settle down and emerge again. The 2011 Quartz, 2011 Original Vineyard and 2011 Block 5 will be bottled in July.
The Pyrette fruit for 2012 was picked on the 21st of February and has just begun to ferment. Quite a bit of whole bunch fruit was added to the bottom of each open fermenter and the rest of the fruit de-stemmed on top. A little sulphur was added and thereafter it is up to the ambient/native yeast to ferment the sugar. This has taken five days to really get going and now we have raised caps/skins and fresh, bubbling shiraz ferments. The fruit this year is exceptionally balanced, fragrant, spicy and complex in red fruits. The potential alcohol is 13.5% and the acidities are very good.
After eight weeks of extremely dry weather we have had over 40mm of rain in the past 18 hours. With the temperature and humidity quite high it is a slight concern, but the rain is very welcome this far from harvest. We await some warm, even ripening weather.