Vintage 2017 – Progress Update
Wed, 29 March 2017
At the Taylors family winery, things are ‘full steam ahead’ as far as vintage 2017 goes with things progressing steadily and without incident. The weather for January saw reasonably mild conditions with only 7 days registering a maximum temperature greater than 35°C and temperatures well in line with long term averages for the region. Overall for the month we received almost 52 mm of rainfall, just under half of that we received in 1 day on the 20th January! That day the temperature was also high – around 36°C – which can be problematic as these conditions tend to promote mildew diseases but Mother Nature was on our side and the temperatures quickly plummeted overnight to 21 °C for the next day coupled with reasonable winds – helping to dry out the canopies and dissipate humidity. In any case, our vineyard team worked diligently to keep on top of any potential outbreaks and as a consequence, we saw no evidence of any mildew issues on the estate.
The harvest commenced at our Clare Valley estate on the 1st of March as usual with a white variety; Pinot Gris. The following day, we harvested Pinot Noir for sparkling base – which is technically a white wine too. The winemakers were pleased to be able to use some new picking bins specifically designed to protect the juice from picking up any colour. They have what is essentially like a sieve fitted inside the bin and any free run juice is protected from skin contact by draining through the holes in the sieve, collecting in the bottom to be syphoned off prior to being tipped into the press. These new bins will also be employed when the Pinot Noir for our Rosé wines are harvested, resulting in much better control of colour & phenolic pickup during the harvest and ultimately a more delicate wine.
Riesling was the next variety to be harvested on the 5th of March, quickly followed by Chardonnay and by the 24th of March, all of the white varieties from the estate had been harvested bar the Viognier. We pick that at the same time as the Shiraz as the two varieties are co-fermented for our Eighty Acres wine. Meanwhile, we commenced harvesting the first red variety from the estate, Tempranillo on the 8th of March. Things quickly picked up from there with the team picking good quantities of both Shiraz and Merlot from the 10th of March. The first of the Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate was only harvested yesterday on the 28th March and with the mild, sunny conditions promising a lovely long ‘hang time’ for the Cabernet Sauvignon – which bodes well for the wines we’ll produce.
At the time of writing, we’re only around 40% of what we intend to pick from the estate and as a comparison, this time last year, we were almost 85% through!
As far as the harvest from our grower partners in other regions go, Shiraz from McLaren Vale is the only one to reach 50 % completed so far. We still have quite a bit to come in from the Adelaide Hills and also our Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra for the Jaraman range. This is often the last fruit to come in over vintage. With the weather holding beautifully for the foreseeable future, it’s certainly been slow and steady but you know, that’s just how we like it!