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Vintage Report Edition 6 - from Bruce Tyrrell

Fri, February 15th 2013   /   No comments

Saturday morning……the beautiful mornings just kept coming but there was quite a bit of dew on the ground.  We finished all of John Tulloch’s white last night with 10 tonnes of Trebbiano and Sauvignon Blanc with an odd Muscat vine planted through it that will add a bit more flavour.  We picked another 30 tonnes of Shiraz from Stevens’, Johnno’s and NVC.  Richo has stopped biting his nails and starting to look relieved.  The reds we picked this week look very good.  The weather forecast for early next week is starting to look better and we may slow down a bit and try and get some extra ripeness.  35 degrees today and similar forecast for tomorrow, which should push the red sugars up a bit further.  Tasted through the Semillon and Verdelho tanks last night – Vat 1 is head and shoulders above everything else; Belford and HVD are very good as is the Fordwich Verdelho, which we will have ready to bottle in about six weeks times.  All of the whites are showing plenty of flavour and softness with just enough acid to keep them fresh.
Sunday – yet another beautiful morning with a heavy dew.  Earlier on it looked like Autumn.  We finished picking Stevens’ Glen Oak Shiraz and Neil Stevens is starting to look relieved.  Re-tested all of the remaining red.  Would like to leave them for another 3 – 4 days.  Sunday night we had 50 ml of rain in about 45 minutes.  A number of berries were actually split by the force of the rain.  The plans to wait for another 3 – 4 days went down the creek.
Monday – wet morning with a small hand picking team starting on NVC Shiraz.  We built the team up over the day and finished all NVC and 8 Acres.  No chance of getting a machine anywhere for the moment.  The rain last night dropped sugars around 0.3%.  Neil Stevens also finished picking his Old Hillside.
Tuesday – over cast morning, some drizzly, misty rain and we kept picking with a big team.  We finished 4 Acres, Old Hut and the Baulkham.  There was mud everywhere and the pickers really earned their money.  The fruit is still in good condition but we needed to do some hand sorting.  The red fermentation vats are all full and so we were taking ferments off to find a spot for the grapes that were already picked.
Wednesday – finished picking all of our Shiraz for 2013.  Bit of a shower in the morning but we were actually able to get a harvester on DeBeyer’s and pick that by machine.
Thursday – The day after we finished our Shiraz, the sun comes out and the wind is blowing.  We are taking 10 tonnes of Fiano this morning, which is a contract winemaking job and all we have left in the Hunter is about 5 tonnes of Cabernet from John Tulloch, and Pokolbin Hills.
It looks like we are about 30% down on average right across the board.  So, like Goodman Fielder and their cheap red, we are going to have to take a price rise.

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