The 2017 vintage has begun with the first pick of Chardonnay from the vineyards in Bendigo. The first vineyard to be picked was the Old Vine Chardonnay, Balgownie’s very first Chardonnay vineyard planted in 1976. The fruit was of exceptional quality with good acid and flavour; winemaker Tony Winspear is very excited about the quality of the fruit and the potential to produce an outstanding Estate wine.
The Young Chardonnay block has also been picked, a much younger vineyard planted in 1983. These grapes are also of exceptional quality and look to be headed to Balgownie’s Estate wine. All the vineyards at Balgownie Estate are handpicked which results in only top quality fruit reaching the vineyard as our pickers are able to discard any berries that not fully ripe. It also means that the fruit is excellent condition for its trip to the winery and not subject to oxidation.
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.