Yesterday, Monday 9th March, was our first official day of vintage. In my blog entry of Wednesday 4th March I wrote that it appeared we would be picking our Eden Valley Riesling before the Barossa Shiraz but vintage is an unpredictable thing which changes daily. I was wrong in that assumption. The baume of the riesling was not quite where we wanted it (maybe due to the really cold nights we have been having out here in the hills the past week) so the 2009 Barossa Shiraz was the first to hit the crush.
Despite the horrific heatwave five weeks ago, the shiraz grapes ended up being in great condition which is a huge relief. The fruit tastes superb and the colour is amazing. It may be our best crop of Barossa Shiraz ever. All in all, we picked 1112kg and as I write this blog entry it is in the beginning of its processing at Biscay Road Vintners (run by Pete Schell, Spinifex and Jason Schwarz, Schwarz Wine Company) in Bethany. It is a very exciting time; especially because we have such a talented winemaker as Pete taking charge of things, not to forget Jason's knowledgable input as well.
As James and I both work other jobs as well as run the business and do the majority of the vineyard work, we now find ourselves in a position where there are just not enough hours in the day. James generally tends to the red wines (all are made at Biscay Road Vintners) on a daily basis initially until most of the major work is done and as of next week I assume, I will be trying to have as much input as possible at Rocland Wines in Nuriootpa where our riesling will be processed under the watchful eye of our favourite big guy, Peter Gajewski.
The next month will no doubt be a blur of being here, there and everywhere but it is always well worth it. Let the fun begin!