Galafrey Wines- Early start to Vintage 2013
There are very few times we start vintage before the March Long weekend. Only once before in 2007 we started vintage on the 14th Feb. I remember this because I was in Tasmania on my honeymoon when I got the phone call that they were starting vintage without me!
This year we started on Wednesday the 20th February picking the Chardonnay and Muller. The Chardonnay was damaged by hail in late Nov. This reduced the size of our crop. The tonnage of Chardonnay and Muller was lower than normal years due to dry conditions as well as hail damage.
The big difference for us this year was the new (to us) grape harvester. This reduced our picking costs and gave us greater flexibility. We can now pick individual blocks at individual times which are excellent and exciting in the winery.
While tonnage is down the quality is high. The Muller (Baume 11.5) is especially fruit driven this year showing the vineyard did not receive too much stress with the dry conditions.
On the 26th February we picked our Riesling. The Riesling (Baume 11.5) tonnage was as expected and not down on last year. The fruit itself show intense ripe flavours and a nice high acidity making for a pleasant floral characteristics you'd expect from a Galafrey Riesling.
On the 8th March we handpicked our Pinot Noir (Baume 13.5). Great fun with a few Korean back packers and Lomax Media came did some filming for a piece for the ACCI Awards. We were all out in the vineyard doing the Harlem Shake. We process the Pinot later that night and let the wild yeast ferment away with no additions.
On March 21st we picked the Cab franc (Baume 12.1), Merlot (Baume 12.4) and Shiraz (Baume 13.3). The fruit looked very ripe on the vine but have low Baume which is typical of the year. We keep the Cabernet Franc separate this year and plan to make a young, fresh red with lovely choc mint flavours that our Cab Franc shows. The Shiraz looked awesome. Lovely big bunches, heaps of flavour in the skins. Shiraz tonnage was on target whereas Cab Franc and Merlot were low.
We picked the Cabernet Sauvignon (Baume 14.5) on Tuesday 2nd of April marking the end of vintage- in the vineyard anyway. The tonnage was very low which seems normal across the region for this variety. Poor fruit set I image due to the late rains in November, topped up with one of the hottest summers in decades.
In hindsight it was an easy vintage with little pressure from disease and pests. Picking conditions were good. Fruit is intense, especially the reds and while tonnage was low across the board the wines look magnificent in the tank. I am looking forward to finishing the wines off and releases with pride in time to come.
Enjoy the Wine!
CEO and Family Winemaker