There was a sigh of relief from the Winery team last night, the last of the Hunter Valley fruit was now in the winery. This doesn't mean all the work is finished for Vintage 2018, & definitely not for the year, but it does mean the fruit is safely fermenting or in barrel & away from anything that Mother Nature can unleash.
Shiraz harvest followed fast on the heels of the Semillon. Thommo tells us this is one of the most compressed vintages he has experienced in his 32 vintages in the Hunter.The Winery team, with a couple from Cellar Door, even took to the Vineyard to assist picking the Dam Block Shiraz.
The Shiraz is looking awesome, a little down on quantity but impeccably clean, ripe & full of flavour. The Sweetwater came in first & has just been put to barrel, the Cote d'Or is being pressed off, with the Kiss, Dam Block & DJV still ticking through the final stages of fermentation.
Now just to wait on the arrival of the Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc and the McLaren Vale Shiraz, and to keep up with the plunging, the pump overs, the barrel work, fining & filtering ...... we're glad we're in the Cellar Door.
If you get the chance, pop in & see us at the Cellar Door & taste a preview of Vintage 2018, we'll have samples of the shiraz until they finish fermentation.
Rowena, Emma, Nico, Steph & Marissa.
The Cellar Door Team love the buzz of Vintage. There's so much energy, anticipation & activity in the area, & it flows into the Cellar Door. The drive to work includes dodging tractors & trucks laden with bins of fruit & the vineyards are full of colourful pickers.
You'll find us calling into the winery each day on the way to work to catch up with the crush of the day, to taste the juice & get the latest info so we can share it with visitors; and we love any opportunity to drop into Braemore to see how "our" vineyard is going. If we're lucky we get the call inviting us to don our work boots to spend a few hours as a "Winery Rat" working alongside Thommo, Scotty & Team.
So how does the 2018 Vintage look? Thommo tells us it's going to be a "cracker". The season has been "ideal with warm, dry days"; he's certainly got a grin on his face.We started picking our Semillon about a week earlier than last year (with the last of the Semillon coming off today) & we'll start the Shiraz tomorrow.
It's a great time to visit us in Cellar Door, we have grapes, juices or ferments to taste so you can follow the journey from the vineyard to the bottle. We hope to see you soon.
Rowena, Emma, Nico, Marissa, Steph & Andy