As the Summer holidays were ending here at Vineyard 28, we were gearing up for Vintage 2022. This year is a milestone for us, as our very first harvest was 20 years ago in 2002. We only made one wine that year, our very first Cabernet Sauvignon. Vintage 2022 is also the first year we harvested grapes without a dog present. Our Jasper was missed by the whole team, as he would follow us all up and down the vine rows as we harvested and was always ready for the morning tea crumbs at the end of the pick.
Vintage 2022 started a little slower than the previous few years and didn’t officially get underway until 4th February with the harvest of the Muscat Petit a Grain Rouge which makes our Moscato Rosa. Most years this is the grape we harvest first. It was almost 2 weeks later before we harvested grapes again, starting with the Pignoletto on the 16th of February and then over the next 2 weeks it was quite busy with the Arneis, more Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, Dolcetto (for Freddo), Semillon and on 28th of February the Fiano, all coming in. February was quite warm, so we were pleased to get the grapes in as early as we could each morning, always starting at sunrise. Early March saw us head back up to the Wildwater Vineyard to bring in the Dolcetto and Barbera, and then back to Vineyard 28 for the 20th harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon on the 10th of March.
People often think that once the grapes are harvested the job is done, when in fact it is just beginning. From de-stemming, to spending time on skins, fermentations, pressing, barrel time and filtration; these processes commence the day the grapes are harvested and will continue for many weeks after. The winemaker, Mark will have wines at various stages throughout this time.
Mid-March the weather gods decided to throw us a curve ball with the threat of a large volume of rain courtesy of a cyclone tracking down the west coast of WA. We then started to experience cooler days and nights in the last few weeks of March and even a little rain, which fortunately didn’t cause us too much grief with either our Montepulciano or Nebbiolo, that were still trying to ripen. It then became a waiting game until the Wildwater Montepulciano was picked on the 5th of April and we finally closed out the season on the 13th of April, just before Easter with the Nebbiolo harvest.
Thank you to our Vintage Crew
A huge thanks to our 2022 harvest crew, the regulars – Bruce, Carol, Julie, Phil and Fran who this year were assisted by some other locals, Vicki, Ken, Kathy, Robyn and Dave. We can’t forget our younger crew, Jake and Seb who worked as cellar hands before university commitments took over their time. We hugely appreciate all of them and their willingness to get up early and come help bring the grapes in.
Overall Vintage 2022 has brought us in some exceptional grapes, a little down in volume on some varieties, but as Bruce said to us, it is one of the best years he’s seen. (He should know since 2022 was his 16th harvest!) Winemaker Mark is happy with all the wines and is excited to be working on our first production of Montepulciano and Barbera. Watch this space and stay connected to hear when these wines will be released.