24-hour days, hundreds of tonnes of grapes, and exciting new wines – it’s Vintage 2017 at Gapsted Wines.
Winemaker and cellar hand manager Blair Jensen provides an update on how our Vintage 2017 is progressing.
"Greetings from the cellar floor, where I have taken a 10 minute break from 14 hour days to write down a few highlights of Vintage 2017.
Traditionally Vintage has started on or around early February. This year we started a full three weeks later than that due to above average rainfall and cooler temperatures in Spring and Summer. This wait was important, however, as a harvest can't progress until the grapes fully ripen and the fruit quality is fantastic.
Now that the grapes are flowing in, we have some great people from England, Portugal, France and many other areas who have come to help with Vintage 2017. I am proud of the efforts they are putting in as we run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to receive our most precious resource.
The cooler conditions have resulted in excellent quality white juice so far, and the early red varieties we have picked such as Tempranillo are very promising indeed. We also have 10 tonnes of hand-picked Pinot Noir undergoing carbonic fermentation, a technique which induces an internal fermentation in the intact berry without the aid of yeast, resulting in a fragrant and highly fruity wine style and will end up in our 2017 Tobacco Road Pinot blend.
A number of white wines have finished their fermentation, and we'll aim to have the 2017 Pinot Grigio in bottle within three weeks. We have also received some amazing quality Shiraz grapes from Heathcote which will end up in our Ballerina Canopy Shiraz in a couple of years' time.
At the time of writing we have processed well over 3,000 tonnes of grapes, and will have more than 4,000 tonnes in tanks by the end of this week. Our biggest day has been 270 tonnes - which equates to approximately 12 fully-laden trucks, or enough grapes to fill 118 large bins.
Here’s hoping the weather remains kind to our growers for another three weeks, so we can successfully receive the remaining reds to complete what's been a high quality vintage."