If anything could typify the challenging growing season we had in 2019, it was waking up on our last day of harvesting to a heavy ground frost and overnight temperatures in the vineyard falling to around minus 2 degrees. However, a fast dash to the Chardonnays revealed that they were indeed iced, but still in fine and very juicy condition!
This year, although a later start to the growing season than 2018, kicked into life with an incredible period of flowering and fruit set indicating a yield that would more than double that of last year. However, with quality very much in mind and the weather suggesting a thoroughly unpredictable summer, the decision was taken to thin out the crop radically in an effort to maximise the potential of the fruit.
That ‘green harvest’ of excess bunches quickly proved to be a saving grace as the season turned out as uneven as advertised with a finale of seemingly endless rain in the final run-up to picking….
And yet, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait! Harvest timings are always a balance between the need to get the crop picked and the vineyard’s and winemaker’s desire to have the best product possible which means leaving the fruit on as long as you can…. Not always an easy balance to maintain as the rain thunders down but hold on we did and 2019’s crop has definitely been worth the extra time.
We have harvested a fantastic crop, up on 2018 ….. and almost half of which were picked with loving care by our fantastic volunteers, fuelled on a very fine lasagne lunch backed up by copious amounts of biscuits and cake!
Despite this year’s lack of sunshine, we were very happy to see that the acidity levels were the same ( if not marginally better in some cases) as 2018.
So, as the vine leaves turn their amazing shades of yellows, oranges and reds, we are already looking forward to 2020, thinking about the winter pruning and what next year’s potential may be … but most especially eagerly anticipating a taste of 2019’s Rose.
Unfortunately we still have to wait another couple of years for the 2017 sparkling ……
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