Vintage 2020

The 2020 Vintage here at Vineyard 28 in Geographe kicked off a little earlier than usual. On the 29th January we commenced with harvesting the Muscat Petit a Grain fruit destined for the 2020 Moscato Rosa. Sampling and testing in the weeks prior had suggested we’d be underway around first week of February, but a few warms days pushed the fruit along and Vintage 2020 began.

What followed next was 13 harvests of fruit spread across a short window of 5 weeks, at both Vineyard 28 and up at the Wildwater Vineyard. This made for quite a compressed vintage compared to previous years. It meant a busy time in the winery for Mark and the new wine tanks purchased this year have been put to good use. The Cabernet Sauvignon was picked on the 24th February, and then we saw a weather change. Some rain, cooler days and nights slowed down the ripening of the Nebbiolo. We were a little concerned it might be damaged by the rain, but it robustly came through to be harvested as normal on 25th March.

Overall 2020 has been a great vintage, the quality and yields of the fruit have been exactly where winemaker, Mark wanted them to be. There are some great flavours to be sampled once these grapes make bottle. This year Mark is increasing his use of wild yeasts from the vineyard. They increase the texture and character of the wines that are produced. So there will be some very interesting drops from Vintage 2020.

Throughout Vintage Jasper was everywhere. He loved being up early and out with the crew harvesting. But age has caught up with him, as generally by the afternoons he’d be found sound asleep somewhere.

Vintage came to a quiet finish this year amidst the Corona virus crisis. Normally we would have celebrated with our crew. Many of them have picked for us over 10 years now, Bruce Jones in particular has been with us for 15 years. For now we’ve postponed the celebrations and look forward to gathering the crew together once it is permitted and celebrate Vintage 2020 with a few wines and some great food.

Continue Reading Vintage 2020

Vintage Leap 2020

Winemaker Mark with visitors on a vineyard walk.

This is going to be a great opportunity to celebrate the 2020 Leap year, with our Vintage Leap Experience.

Saturday 29th February 2020

Come for a walk in the Vineyard with our winemaker, Mark. Sample the grapes and gain an understanding of how we decide when to pick and why. Learn what the words “baume” and “brix” mean. Taste the flavours of the grape before they become wine.

Mark will then take you into the winery where it should all be happening. A peek into the world of a winemaker amidst the season we refer to as “vintage” or in Italian – “la vendemmia

By this time we will have some wines in tank and at different stages of the wine-making process. Get to have a sneak peek and early taste of 2020 vintage wines. Mark might even tempt you with some barrel tastings of the 2019 reds.

This will be a small group experience. (Limited to 8 persons per session)

When: Saturday 29 February 2020 between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM

Cost – $25.00 per person (for Non Cellar Club Members)

Bookings are essential.

After your Vintage Leap Experience you are then welcome to taste wines at the Cellar Door and restock on some favourites. You are also invited to order a grazing plate or bring your own picnic to enjoy with a bottle of your favourite wine.

Note: Cellar Club Members please check your emails as there will be a promotional code provided for you to book with to obtain a discount.

BOOK HERE

Continue Reading Vintage Leap 2020

Vintage 2019

Vintage 2019 has finally come to an end. It has seemed a long season this year, commencing back in early February, a few weeks later than usual, with the last harvest being the Nebbiolo undertaken on the 6th April. In fact the Nebbiolo was only pressed off a little over a week ago. Recent tastings across the range by winemaker Mark are indicating we are going to have some awesome drops of wine this year. It could well be a year to remember. The first of our Pignoletto grapes were picked on Saturday 16th February, and the resultant juice will soon continue its journey onto becoming our first Sparkling style. But don’t all rush out to come try, it won’t be available until later in 2020. Good things take time to create.

During the winter months we had good rain filling our soil profiles and a cool but quite dry spring. This and the continued cooler summer temperatures through December and January delayed ripening, but resulted in our grape canopies maintaining excellent conditions through to harvest. Of note this year has been the bird pressure. It is the highest we’ve seen in many years with almost no blossom on the local Marri trees until virtually the end of the season.

The season commenced on the 12th February with our Muscat fruit here at the Vineyard 28 site. For the first few weeks it was a little hectic in the winery with the white varieties and our first Dolcetto fruit all coming in before the end of February. Then the cooler March temperatures slowed things a little and spread the harvests out with the Cabernet Sauvignon being harvested on 20th March, with then another few weeks before we finished with the Nebbiolo. Mark has had a very full winery, and at times it’s been an interesting juggle, but it’s all in safely with the 2019 white styles almost ready for bottling later in June.

Our regular crew of retired farming folk were back this year to help bring the fruit in, ably assisted by a few local students commencing gap years, supplemented along the way by a few international backpackers. It made for some great morning tea conversations after each pick.

Check out the gallery of images below from across the season.

Continue Reading Vintage 2019

Vintage – what is this exactly?

What is this term Vintage ?

The Cambridge dictionary gives us the following definition of “vintage” when it’s used as an adjective;

– a thing of high quality and lasting value, or showing the best and most typical characteristics of a particular type of thing, especially from the past.

and when used to describe wine;

– the wine made in a particular year or a particular year in which wine has been made.

In the winemaking world the second definition is pretty close. The vintage is the year in which we harvest the grapes that go into a specific wine. An example is our 2015 Nebbiolo  . We harvested theses grapes on the 27th March 2015. The first definition is also correct in that it also describes the best and most typical characteristics likely to be displayed in a wine. It personifies the weather conditions, the soil and winemaking processes that were used that year. All together they combine to become the vintage.

In our world we also use this term vintage to cover a season in our viticultural calendar. It is a time of year that winemakers across the globe refer to – we are in the middle of vintage right now. Meaning we are harvesting grapes and starting on the winemaking process. We tend to consider vintage to be over once the last grapes are harvested. The winemaking process still continues through until the wine is in bottle.

The 2018 Vintage for Vineyard 28 commenced on 7th February this year, with the harvest of our Arneis grapes, and since then the Muscat and Dolcetto have also been picked.

Most harvest days we start around 6am, and all our grapes are hand picked into fruit bins. These are collected and transported into the winery, where they are then destemmed and crushed, with the white grapes  being pumped into the press or if it’s a red grape transferred into an open fermenter and left on skins commence fermentation. As all these processes get underway we start to build up a picture of what the resultant wine will be like.

Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo are still on the vine ripening away. It is a combination of taste, seed ripeness, sugar levels and acid levels that determine when we will pick the grape. At this time of year Mark can be seen wandering the vineyard early in the morning sampling off the vine, collecting samples of grapes, crushing them, tasting  and testing.

We look forward to sharing the 2018 Vintage journey with you and bringing you some awesome wines in the future.

Continue Reading Vintage – what is this exactly?