HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE As the heat increases, the berries grow and start to ripen, although it is later this year due the wet winter/spring. The ripening of the grapes is called Veraison whereby the berries soften and the colouring begins. The Chardonnay change from a hard solid green to a translucent yellow-green and the Shiraz have more of a dramatic colour change from green to pink-red. The Chardonnay grapes tend to look after themselves when it comes to ripening, but with the Shiraz we will drop fruit that is not ripening, we want the fruit to ripen at the same time, so that sugar levels will be consistent across the yield. If you leave the slower ripening berries on the vines, you will get a variance in sugar levels that gives the wine a herbaceous taste and that is not what you want in a red; slightly OK for the Chardonnay to have a bit of green tinge.
We continue with the canopy trimming (Steve was doing this manually until the trimmer became operational), monitoring the foliage for watering, shooing the Silver Eye birds, which are a vineyards nightmare... They have pointy beaks and peck a berry on a bunch, which can create an acid that can ruin the bunch; we don’t pick those bunches. To mitigate the damage, we will put nets on the vines.
At the end of January, our 2016 vintage will be bottled, so excited to receive and taste that wine!