The lovely sunny weather has been ideal for ripening grapes and the pickers have been kept busy in the vineyards harvesting the fruit.
In the Yarra valley, the Chardonnay Block has been hand-harvested in two separate passes through the vineyard. This ensures that the grapes are picked at their best before they begin their journey to being transformed into wine. As well the first block of Pinot Noir consisting of 114 clone has been picked. The remaining blocks have been left to ripen a touch more before harvesting.
In Bendigo, the Railway Block which is a vineyard of Shiraz planted in 1999 has been picked as well. The fruit has beautiful balance and was destemmed before being added to the fermentation tanks. Part of the fruit was left as whole berries and part was crushed prior to fermentation. The whole bunches will encourage bright, lifted fruit flavours in the finished wine.
The 2018 Sangiovese has also been picked. The crop has been a little smaller than in the past but this has been offset by the quality of the fruit.
The warm weather throughout Summer has resulted in an early start to vintage for 2018. Despite the picking starting earlier than usual, the quality of the fruit has been fabulous and the winemaking staff have been eager to get their hands on the fabulous fruit.
As is usual at Balgownie, chardonnay is the first varietal to ripen and the first variety to be picked. The Old Vine Chardonnay (planted in 1976) was the picked first, followed by the Young Chardonnay Block (planted in 1983). These vineyards, along with all the vineyards at Balgownie are hand-picked as this results in the only the top quality fruit being harvested, as the pickers are able to ignore the fruit that is not fully ripe.
In addition Shiraz that has been earmarked for our delectable Rosé has also been harvested. It is crucial that the grapes for this wine have the right balance between ripeness, acid and flavour to produce a delicious wine that continues to grow in popularity.
Veraison is the point where ripening begins and the grapes begin to change colour and accumulate sugar. White grapes, such as Chardonnay begin to take on their characteristic yellow/green colour while red grapes such as Pinot Noir begin to turn to a red/black colour.
Visit the Yarra Valley Cellar Door over the holidays and try our fabulous new relesase 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Read the oustanding reviews:
“Born from vines that average almost 50 years of age, this is a big bold cabernet of deep concentration, lavish, palate-sticking tannins and ferrous, savoury character. It’s heady in perfume of blackcurrants, plums, gum leaf and blonde tobacco. The palate is an assertive thrust of choc-berry flavours, sweet earthiness and rib-sticking, tacky-textured tannins. It’s a wine of immense presence now, and should be tamed gradually with cellaring, to reveal more nuance and detail.” Mike Bennie, Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine June/July 2017
"It’s a big black beast of a red, hints of bitumen accentuating the ripeness. Again, however, it’s pulled back from the edge of overripeness by the depth of fruit and grippy tannins. It’s just a fraction too warm this vintage, a little bit soupy on the edges. Impressive concentration can’t be sneezed at however – it goes on and on, and deserves plaudits on depth of flavour alone. Best drinking: 2019-2033. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14%, $45. Would I buy it? A glass." Andrew Graham, Australian Wine Review.
James Halliday’s 2018 Wine Companion - Rating 91