Monday, 23 February 2009

Vintage 2009

Well I'm back.

We have been tied up with the vineyard lately so no time to write or blog!

To the right are some photos from our first vintage. It all happened so quick that I didn't have time to take many pictures. The pickers turned up at 6:30 am and it was all done by 7:30 am. It would have taken us four days! We were expecting to get about 3 tonne (3,000 kg) of fruit but ended up with about 1.8 tonne. The kangaroos and birds ate the rest. Each one of the white bins that you see in the photos holds 0.5 tonne. I could hardly steer the ute with two full bins on the back and it was a bit touch and go driving up the rows with the amount of rain that we have had lately (both dams are now overflowing again).

We dropped off the bins at Wandin Valley and they will crush and destem the grapes. The resulting must (crushed grapes and juice) is then fermented over the next week. They plunge the cap every three days (ie mix it up as the skins float on the top of the fermenting juice) to extract as much colour and flavour as possible. Next weekend the whole lot goes in the press (big silver thing shown in one of the photos) and the resulting wine is stuck in our barrels (made from French oak - each one of these new is worth $1000. We got reconditioned barrels which are a lot cheaper. French oak is supposed to impart a more subtle flavour than American oak).

We bought 6 oak barrels which are shown in a couple of the photos. They are called barriques and have a 225 litre capacity. Assuming we get enough wine to fill them all that will correspond to 1350 litres or 1800 bottles or 150 cases.

The plan is to leave the wine in oak until the end of the year at which time it will be bottled (and free up the barriques for the next vintage).

We will get our first taste when it comes out of the press next weekend. It is all very exciting, though we will need to sell each bottle for $327 to recover all our costs over the last nine years.


  1. $327! Good God. I'm guessing you'll be needing to recoup those losses over a number of vintages. I can see it's a red you'll end up with, but what type of red?

    Good luck with it all.

  2. hey BT - yes we probably wont be able to charge $327 a bottle so at least we wont be paying tax for a few more years.

    The grapes are Shiraz (or Syrah if you are French).