Follow our team as we traverse Harvest 2017 in New Zealand.
From vine to wine ...
...We’re well over half way through Vintage 2017 as we add this latest journal entry.
Needless to say, it’s all go!
There are still a few grapes hanging on the vines, while at the other end of the spectrum, grapes which were harvested early have now turned into wine. Yay!!
Some of the Sauvignon Blanc from our Woolshed vineyard has finished the fermentation process, and been ‘racked off its lees,’ (the wine has been taken off the solid matter it sits on).
Mud House Winemaker Cleighten Cornelius said this is the time in harvest when characteristics can really be seen.
“Now that some of the wines are settling and becoming clear, they are now revealing themselves. They all have unique protagonist characters like citrus and mineral, with lovely background flavour,” he said.
The Central Otago Pinot Noir is just finishing its ‘cold soak’ and is ready for ferment to kick off. In other words, things will soon start bubbling as the yeast becomes active.
“The fruit is great and just beginning to ferment. Early signs point towards wines that have pure fruit expression; they will be fresh,” said Cleighten.
More Pinot Noir hand-picking took place this week down in Bendigo at our Claim 431 Vineyard. One week on from the last handpick, Vineyard Manager Tom Bullen said the fruit hanging on the vines was full of flavour and reaped full benefit from another week in the sun.
“The hand-picked fruit had vibrant healthy skins with a beautiful deep blue colour backed up with very precise bright and balanced flavours. The harvest crew are having a ball this year, a lot of picking and laughing happening under the beautiful Central Otago Sun,” said Tom.
This week we are harvesting Sauvignon Blanc from the Awatere Valley, an iconic growing area of Marlborough where ripening traditionally happens a little later compared to other sub regions.
Woolshed Vineyard Manager Nev Gane, who also oversees harvesting across the region, said the fruit in the Awatere is looking outstanding.
“Sampling a few berries while picking out here, I thought to myself ‘flavours are good!’ The weather is looking settled for the next week and with warm days and cool nights should make great harvesting conditions,” said Nev.
There’s just a week or so of harvesting to go for Mud House, and the weather is looking great. Happy days.
Since our last post, the grapes have continued making their way into the winery, while some are still hanging on the vines ripening up. In a nutshell, we’re in full swing for V17.
The viticulture and winemaking teams alike are grafting day and night getting the job done. Like any vintage, weather plays a huge part. In true Mud House style, whether the weather is smiling upon us, or throwing the odd curve ball, spirits remain high and hard work never falters.
The Woolshed Sauvignon Blanc is happily fermenting away, with enticing flavours of grapefruit and blackcurrant leaf. 'Great flavours are happening earlier than usual so we are set up nicely for aromatic well balanced wines with elegance and finesse,' said Mud House Winemaker Cleighten Cornelius.
The first lot of Pinot Noir from Claim 431 vineyard at Bendigo has been harvested; currently in the very early stage of fermentation called ‘cold soak’ where the grape juice is given time to derive flavours and colours from the grape skins, before things are warmed up and the real ferment action starts. The colour is looking fantastic, accompanied with classic Central Otago flavours of cherry and plum. “The colours and quality of the fruit look aweome, I’m thrilled with the efforts of the team down here at Bendigo,” said Claim 431 Vineyard Manager Tom Bullen.
As the grapes continue to be harvested, we’re all enjoying seeing the flavours and colours develop. With his loyal labrador Oi close at his side, Woolshed Vineyard Manager Nev Gane is keeping a close eye on his ripening Sauvignon Blanc grapes. “If what we have already picked is anything to go by, things are looking good,” he said, adding that treats like sausage roll deliveries are great perks to these long and busy days.
An exciting time of year here at Mud House - for sure.
Harvest is here! A quick look at things around the block…
- Up in Marlborough, our Woolshed Sauvignon Blanc was harvested amongst a brilliant weekend of late summer sunshine.
- Down in Central Otago at our Claim 431 vineyard, Vineyard Manager Tom Bullen said the Pinot Noir is still on track with great ripening and flavour development. There has been the occasional very cold night down there (check out the grapes in the photo below looking pretty chilly at 1deg C!); but the classic Central Otago warm days means things are sweetening up. Hence, to keep the birds out, the nets are now on. The crew is waiting patiently for nature to take its course, and can’t wait to start picking soon!
- In Waipara the Pinot Gris boasted lots of concentration and spicy notes when it came off the vine at The Deans last Friday. Vineyard manager Jean-Luc Dufour said there’s great spirit amongst the crew, who are working hard and even letting out a song or two.
- Vineyard manager Nev Gane wanted to thank the harvest crew for working around the clock, to bring in the fruit that was looking and tasting great.
- In the winery, Mud House winemaker Cleighten Cornelius said the Sauvignon Blanc, which is still in its early juice stage, is looking great with early flavour profiles of herbaceous gooseberry.
That’s a wrap for now, keep tuned in for more updates soon.
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