Vintage 2024

Earliest start to a vintage …

The 2024 Vintage has set records. Picking Arneis Arneis bins loaded up

Getting underway on the 18th January, Vintage 2024 commenced with the earliest harvest of the Arneis here at Vineyard 28. This is a whole month ahead of the norm, with vintage compressed into 6 weeks instead of the usual 10 to 11, with one week where we picked fruit every day. It was unusual to say the least, fast, furious and hot.  Our last harvest day was the 28th February when we brought in the Nebbiolo. Usually this grape is out there until end of March or early April some years, but the heat pushed the ripening along.

The early warm weather in October propelled the vines along their growth cycles and then the subsequent hot dry weather throughout the summer hastened the ripening of the grapes. White varieties stood up exceptionally well and were fortunately off the vine before the multiple heatwaves that rolled through February here in Western Australia. The majority of the red varietals stood up well, although there were some losses due to the heat. Overall, it was a vintage that will go down in the history books, and there will be some truly interesting wines to sample in the future.

This year we harvested the first grapes from our new block Rusty’s Vineyard, located in Harvey.  We are growing Fiano and Sangiovese there. For those who are pining for another Jasper Rose, then stay tuned for the 2024 vintage made from the Sangiovese.

Fran & Phil harvesting Carol harvestingThank you Vintage Crew

As always huge thanks go to our harvest crew. Lots of 6am starts in the vineyards, with some glorious sunrises to be seen, and delicious morning teas consumed. This year we also welcomed wine club members to assist us in bringing in the harvest. Big thanks to Kevin, Dave, Colin and Graham who all put their hands up and assisted us in bringing in the grapes.

Now we wait to see what magic will transpire in the winery. Mark and Kieran have been very busy since harvests finished tending to the wines. The Nebbiolo is fermenting away on its skins and will be for some weeks yet before being pressed off and transferred to barrel to continue its maturation.

 

 

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Vintage 2023

That’s a wrap on Vintage 2023!

Our 21st Vintage got under way on Wednesday 8th February this year with the Muscat Petit a Grain Rouge, destined for Moscato. This is usually our first grape to be harvested, and it was again this year, only a few days later than in 2022. We thought the season was going to be slower than usual, due to the cooler spring, and milder summer temperatures, but it turned out to be almost on par. Both the Pignoletto and Arneis were harvested on the exact same dates as in 2022, the 16th and 17th February respectively. The second half of February was busy, with the Fiano, Dolcetto, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc all coming into the winery on consecutive days. This made for some long days for Mark and Kieran, and lots of sunrises for the harvest crew.

Sunrise at Vineyard 28

Then as per usual we had what we call the mid vintage break, well it is for those picking. As the Cabernet Sauvignon wasn’t harvested until the 15th March, and then finally the Nebbiolo on 7th April on the eve of the Easter weekend.  In between we picked a small quantity of Barbera as well from the Wildwater Vineyard.

Harvesting the grapes is just the beginning of the winemaking process. From de-stemming, to spending time on skins, different fermentations, pressing, barrel time and filtration; these processes commence the day the grapes are harvested and will continue for many weeks after. Winemaker Mark and assistant Kieran will still be working away in the winery over the next few months, tasting, checking and working on the wines. Typically the Nebbiolo spends up to 6 weeks on its skins, so it can be the end of June before it is pressed off and transferred to barrel.

Vintage Crew 2023

Thank you to our Vintage 2023 Harvest Crew

A huge thanks to our 2023 harvest crew, the regulars – Bruce, Carol, Julie, Phil and Fran who this year were assisted by some other locals, Vicki, Ken, young Xavier, and brother-in-law DJ. This crew make all the difference to the quality of our wines, as they diligently weed out any not so good fruit. Our wines are very much hand made from beginning to end.

Overall Vintage 2023 has brought us in some exceptional grapes, with great flavours and in  the right quantity too. We had very little disease pressure this season, and minimal impact from the weather. It was a lovely ripening season from December through until Easter. Our biggest issue this year was the lack of Marri flowers locally, thus netting the vines was extremely important on all our vineyards, as the bird pressure was high. You can look forward to some exceptional wines in the future years. Check out the gallery below for a few snapshots from this vintage.

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Vintage 2022

2002 Cab SauvVintage 2022

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.

Sunrise Vineyard 28Vintage Underway

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.

Vintage snapshots

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.

 

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Vintage Experience 2021 – Walk & Talk

 Vintage 2021

Immerse yourself in a Vintage Experience 2021 – Walk & Talk

Take a walk in the Vineyard with our winemaker, Mark. Sample the grapes and gain an understanding of how we decide when to pick them. 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 will all be happening. A peek into the world of a winemaker amidst the season we refer to as ‘vintage’ or in Italian, ‘la vendemmia‘.

There will be wines in tank and at different stages of the wine-making process. Get to have a sneak peek and early taste of 2021 vintage wines. Mark might even tempt you with some barrel tastings of the 2020 reds.

This will be a small group experience, lasting about 1.5 hours. (Limited to 10 persons per session)

When

Saturday 27th February 2021 – Starts at 11am

Sunday 28th February 2021 – Starts at 11am

Cost – $30.00 per person

Bookings are essential.

After your Vintage  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 outdoors in our lawn area.

BOOK HERE

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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.

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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

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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.

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Vintage – what is this exactly?

Vintage 2022

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 wine making 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 wine making 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. Its the time of year we harvest the grapes and starting on the winemaking process. We tend to consider vintage to be complete once the last grapes have been harvested. The winemaking process still continues through until the wine is in bottle.

Harvest Day

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.Harvesting Semillon

 

When to pick?

It is a combination of taste, seed ripeness, sugar levels and acid levels that determine when we will pick the grape. Throughout the 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.

2022 – 20 Years of Making Wine

2022 is a big year for us. It will be the 20th year of Vintage for Vineyard 28. It all began with our 2002  Cabernet Sauvignon. Throughout vintage we will be sharing stories about our 20 years and reflecting on some of the special wines. Stay tuned.

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