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February 08, 2012

It’s that time of year again when the Barossa starts to kick into gear for yet another vintage. The grapes have been ripening for about a month already and at one point in time it looked like the start of the grape harvest was going to be 2-3 weeks ahead of an average start date. Growers and winemakers (myself included!) getting all excited and speculating how early it could be, bring on 2 weeks of very cool weather and mother nature has put us back in our place yet again.

After the alarm clock rang early this morning (4am) we got our vintage underway, with our first pick of the white wine grape variety Semillon, some lovely looking fruit from a 25 year old vineyard my folks planted back in the late 70’s. This signified our first crack at making a white wine and the start of our vintage 2012, and to rev ourselves up for the coming 2-3 months of harvesting grapes, here is a quick list of 5 reasons we are excited about the upcoming harvest/vintage.

  1. After a trying 2011 vintage with all sorts of challenges we are looking forward to getting stuck into it again. It’ s been 9 months since we packed our grape harvester away, since then a lot of work had gone into helping the vines be at there best for the ripening period of January on to harvest completion,  and we can’t wait to harvest the fruit in anticipation of the quality of wine they will produce this year.
  2. Good weather conditions up until time of writing this post, the vines are looking in tip top shape, healthy canopies (the canes and leaves of the vine) balanced well with the fruit on the vine.
  3. Low yields… well as growers this doesn’t always excite too much but it does certainly help with nicely spaced bunches of grapes giving good air flow, even sunlight and even ripening. Meaning good looking healthy bunches which will go a long way to giving us quality wine you are looking for.
  4. Excitement! As grape growers and wine producers it is an great time of year to be in the Valley, it becomes a hive of activity with extra workers assisting in the vineyards and wineries, long hours working with all the rewarding challenges that go with the time you put in.
  5. Our oldest vineyard has reached it’s 100th birthday! OK so we’re pumping up our own tyres here a bit on this one, our oldest vineyard should be getting a letter from the Queen this year! At a Hundred years old we can’t wait to see what fruit the old block of vines produce for Eddies Old Vine Shiraz this year.

To wrap this post up the next 3-6 weeks will be extremely important for the quality of wines produced, mostly based around what mother nature is feeling like and the weather she throws our way, will determine what level the wines you will be drinking in a year or two’s time from the 2012 Vintage!

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