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.