The 2016 harvest has begun at Balgownie Estate in Bendigo. The abundant sunshine has ripened the grapes and the Estate Chardonnay was handpicked over the last few days. The fruit is in excellent condition and has been harvested at 12.5° baumé, with great natural acidity. Balgownie Estate Winemaker Tony Winspear is very excited about the potential for the Estate Chardonnay for 2016 and is confident of producing a wine with great finesse, elegance and beautiful fruit character.
The first batches of chardonnay are currently being fermented using wild yeast - that is indigenous yeasts that are present in the vineyard. These yeasts add an individual character, as well as texture and complexity to the finished wine. In the coming days the fermentation will be completed and the finished wine will be racked off yeast lees and pumped into French oak barrels where it will develop over the remainder of the year.
Today Shiraz for use in our fabulous Black Label Rosé has also been picked. The grapes have been picked with the ideal balance between flavour and sweetness to produce a wine that is lovely and sweet but not cloying. This wine comes from the Triangle Vineyard in Bendigo, a well-established vineyard that consistently produces beautiful ripe shiraz grapes. As the 2015 Black Label Rosé has been such a success at our Cellar Door in the Yarra Valley and Bendigo we are increasing production and will have more of the 2016 Rosé.