2023 Harvest #vintageishere
Vintage (grape harvest) is once again upon us here in the Yarra Valley and we've hit the groung running.
Today we stopped by a few vineyards to get samples of the grapes in order to determine their readiness for picking. We do this by walking up and down a few select rows grabbing random berries from each side of the row. We take these back to the winery to analyse their sugar and acid levels, and these results help us to determine when to pick.
With every decision to pick, we're looking at flavour, ripeness and balance - and we have a very slim timeframe to get it right. If we leave the grapes on the vine for too long the sugar levels rise and the acid drops away, which can create an unbalanced, alcoholic wine. If we pick too early, the flavour in the grapes won't have fully developed and we could be left with a flavourless, acidic wine. So getting the picking time right is detrimental to the wine quality.
Today we looked at the fruit for your 2023 Family Reserve Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with some pics below.
2023 vintage conditions have been similar to '22 here in the Yarra Valley. We had quite a wet spring and early Summer, which affected fruit set (the flowers, which grow into berries drop off, meaning less berries at harvest time), so we're seeing really reduced yields - up to 60% reduction in Chardonnay in some vineyards and 40-50% reduction in Pinot Noir. This cooler weather has pushed back our harvest date by about 2 weeks however the past 6-8 weeks has seen beautifully warm, dry summer days, perfect for slow and steady ripening and although we're seeing less fruit on the vines, the quality is looking fantastic.
Wish us luck for the rest of the harvest! Chat soon.