Do you want tears with your wine?

Posted by Jane Leckie. Filed under Vineyard

The 2011 vintage began with such promise. Full dams, spring rain and encouragingly vigorous growth of the vines. For the first time in years rainfall was not going to be an issue! How wrong can you be.
The rain kept coming, in January and February and March. After each downpour with its accompanying humidity it seemed pointless to compete with the cruel irony of nature. Ten years of drought then this! The growth on the vines was excessive, shading the fruit and creating hot, steamy conditions within the canopy. We worked for days reducing it and then it rained again, damaging leaves with late season mildew, so many fell off unassisted.
If not for the patience and support of our wine maker, Mark, I would have walked away from it like so many vignerons were forced to do this year. But with Mark’s encouragement we hung in there and on the Thursday before Easter – probably D Day for the season, in damp, cool and foggy conditions we picked a vintage that was surprisingly flavour ripe and with a very acceptable baume of 13.5.
So the tears have dried up and we look forward to reviewing the vintage from the barrels over the coming months. In fact the long, even ripening period will potentially produce an elegant, lower alcohol wine with characteristics truly reflecting the season. There I go again – there is always a silver lining.

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