Interesting and challenging are the words that come to mind when thinking of vintage 2016
Spring was wet, with periods of heat and cold. This resulted in good growth, and flowering spread out over a long period. Rain fell on 16 days in January, and 18 in March. Thankfully February was dry, and we held the botrytis and mildews at bay.
We began picking quite early – mid February. Then, the weather cooled, ripening halted, and we finished picking quite late. It was one of the most protracted vintages we’ve ever had – 8 weeks. (In contrast to the rest of Victoria, where the season was hot and dry.) We picked 26 tonnes of fruit – our largest since 2010. This is a very small production – under 20% of Australian wineries are at this level. Typically we only produce between 80 & 150 dozen of each wine that you see on our wine list.
Our ‘Top Picks’ for 2016 The Pinot Noir looks interesting – it came in early and is quite dark. The Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc blend will be impressive. The Chardonnay will be complex and interesting, with an alcohol level of around 12.5%.
Ken with his 6 year old grandson Toby, closely watching the Pinot Noir grapes come down the chute and into the crusher.
Events, Other News & Musings…
There’s been a lot happening at the cellar door over the warm months. Nick Reefman played every month, building up a solid following of local music and wine lovers. The wood-fired pizzas were a big hit, too. And, we now have another oven to cook in. It’s made of mud! Or rather, cob – a mixture of clay, sand and straw (see picture). It was built over a few days, coinciding with the 4th annual (f)routeville – a festival of local art, food and culture. This year saw a ‘medieval marketplace’ made of fabric with local artisans plying their wares, workshops, talks, performances and faeries. We’re proud to be involved in such a wonderful creative community.
Some of the crew that made a cob oven at the winery during the (f)routeville weekend. An old water tank was added to keep the rain off. Bread and pizzas have been delicious!