Today grape picking has begun at Balgownie Estate in the Yarra Valley. The first parcel of Chardonnay fruit was hand-picked and is looking amazing with a beautiful balance between fresh fruit flavours and fresh, crisp acid. The remaining fruit will be picked next week; hand picking the vineyard in multiple passes results in the fruit being picked at the perfect time when the fruit is its best.
In Bendigo, the winery is operating at capacity with nearly all fermenters in use. The Chardonnay has completed its fermentation and has been pressed into French oak barrels. The Rosé is undergoing a long and slow fermentation to retain its fruit character and youthful vibrancy.
Meanwhile the Shiraz and Merlot are also happily undergoing fermentation in open vats with daily hand plunging to ensure the gentle extraction of colour, flavour and tannins. This week the Sangiovese was also hand-picked in terrific condition with rich fruit flavours and impeccable balance.
Although vintage has occurred a touch earlier than usual, the fruit produced this year in Bendigo has been of outstanding quality and flavour and the 2016 wines will be highly sought after on their release.