With the usual excitement and anticipation, the Sainte Rose team commenced the 2017 harvest on 2nd August at 3.30am, taking a first pick of our older block of Chardonnay. The fruit was clean and healthy, with excellent acidity and a potential alcohol of 11%. The free run juice from this first pick is destined to become the base wine for our Blanc de Blanc, sparkling Chardonnay 2017, so needed to be carefully protected from the heat of the day and any unnecessary extraction of phenolics.
The following day we were taking a first pick of Pinot Noir grapes from our new Pinot vineyard. The young vines are still very delicate and the hand harvesting team had to take great care selecting the best bunches for what will be the base wines of our Rosé and Blanc de Noir sparkling wines. The grapes were transported carefully back to the winery where the juice was removed from the skins immediately to avoid extraction of colour and tannins. Given this is the first harvest from this vineyard, we are extremely happy with the quality and maturity of the fruit.
This morning we were up early again, this time with the machine harvester picking Chardonnay from our younger Chardonnay block. This vineyard produces more fruit-forward characteristics that better suit the production of still wine and is at a more advanced maturity, thus this juice came into the winery at 12% potential alcohol. Acidity and pH is good and it is showing superb varietal Chardonnay flavours. We will be picking more from this vineyard tomorrow morning before enjoying a day off on Sunday!
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