End of the 2013 White Grape Harvest
All six of our white grape varieties have now been harvested and their juice is safely in tanks in the winery. The early varieties such as the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are almost finished primary fermentation, whilst the latest varieties that were picked over the weekend, the Marsanne and Roussanne, have been cold stabilised, racked and will gently begin their fermentation over the next couple of days. It has been a very intense white harvest due to the late start, with more overnight picking in quick succession than in previous years. Happily apart from one very wet weekend, which halted the harvesting, the weather has been stable we have been able to pick at the optimum time for each variety.
Along with the whites we have also been harvesting reds for rosé, which has added to the intensity of the past couple of weeks. We treat these red grapes as if they were white, separating the juice from the skins immediately to ensure that there is not too much extraction of colour or tannins. This morning was the final pick of Mourvedre for rosé and the grapes came in looking clean, fresh and full of flavour.
Later this week we will turn our focus to red grapes for our red cuvées. We already have two large tanks of Syrah in the winery, which are gently pumped over on a daily basis to extract colour and tannins from the skins and which, after pressing will complete fermentation and age in oak barrels. This week we will be picking Grenache and Merlot.
So a large part of the harvesting is behind us and although there is still a lot of work to be done to complete the creation of our 2013 wines, the riskiest part and constant weather watching is nearly over. Hurrah!