As Vintage approaches we are back in the vineyard. Our first task is to remove bunches to ensure remaining bunches will ripen to their best.
“Pinot Noir is a variety which appears most susceptible to overcropping: high yields per vine appear to result in poorly coloured and poorly structured wines”
This quote comes from Di Davidson’s book A guide to growing Winegrapes in Australia.
Small green bunches are removed as these will not ripen yet will take energy from other bunches.
Bunches that have many green berries ( those that have not gone through verasion). are also removed.
Finally if there are 2 bunches on short canes with reduced leaf one is removed.
Some bunches that appeared to have some bird damage were also removed as these could lead to increased Volatile Acidity in the final wine.
We next took random samples of bunches at various locations throughout the rows. We also counted the number fo bunches , again from a random selection of vines. Weighing the collected bunches and calculating an average number of bunches per vine allowed us to estimate yield.
The collected bunches were crushed and tested for sugar levels. About 9 Baume was the final reading. As we aim to pick around 13 but below 14 baume we think vintage will be in 4 weeks depending on weather.
After work in the vineyard we headed back to Dromana Estate Cellar Door for our last tasting of the year.
10 wines were tasted, the top wines of previous tasting and a few extra wines including 2 Burgundies.
I personally like 2 Degrees from Central Otago, Dirty 3 from Gippsland and Third Child from Coal River Tasmania. My bias is showing as each of these three wines have higher levels of oak, but it is good oak and the wines are balanced and complex. The Bourgogne from Hudelot Noellat was another favorite lots of flavour and complexity but requiring time to show at its best. The Eldridge was silky and very fine
Looking forward to vintage in March 2018.