The excitement of the first few nights of the harvest seem like a long time ago! It is now two months later and the team at Sainte Rose is feeling tired, but pleased with quite literally the fruits of our labour! We have picked 12 different grape varieties from our 33 hectares of vines. Most of the early white varieties (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Muscat) have finished fermentation, they have been racked and are essentially ‘finished’ wine. The later varieties (Marsanne and Roussanne) are finishing their fermentation in oak barrels where they will remain to age gently! Likewise for the reds, the Merlot and Grenache are finished and the Syrah is finishing and aging in oak barrels. The last red varieties (Mourvedre and Petit Verdot) came off their skins today and that really signals the end of the heavy harvest work. The winemaking continues and when all is said and done we will have around 1300 hectolitres of wine in our winery.
We have had a good harvest. The weather has been extremely kind, with warm, dry, clear days and cooler nights. The grapes have therefore had ideal maturing conditions and came into the winery clean, ripe and juicy! Yields as always have varied by variety but the quality throughout has been marvellous!
Ten years on and there are always lessons to be learned during the harvest and new techniques to try. We have high hopes for the 2011 vintage, the first of which will be bottled during the month of November. Hope you enjoy sampling it!