We started harvesting in glorious sunshine on Monday and what a harvest we have this year.
The vineyard really benefited from the warm dry weather we experienced in May, June, and July. Flowering was really great and the fruit set is superb. As we had so little rain in those early summer months we had very low disease pressure so the fruit is very clean, ripe and has fantastic flavours.
We’ve got an incredible group of local grape pickers who are working hard to bring in our fantastic crop of grapes. So far we’ve been blessed with glorious weather all week and the forecast for next week is equally as good, which is good news as it looks like we will be harvesting for another two weeks.
Our grape pickers have been split up into teams, lead by our more experienced vineyard workers and each team tackles a row at a time, as can been seen from this aerial shot. There’s a little bit of competition between the teams, but mostly is just good banter amongst the team members. Many a new friendship has been established during harvest and for many of our pickers, this is their third or fourth harvest.
The grapes are picked into trays, which are emptied into bins before being transported to the winery for pressing. So far it seems to be working like clockwork and we’ve managed to pick over 150 tonnes of grapes in our first week, that’s nearly as much as we picked in the whole of 2017!
The quality of the fruit is the most pleasing thing about this harvest. Yes, a nice big yield is important, but the fruit has to be of the best quality to make fantastic wine. There’s an old adage “you can’t make good wine out of bad grapes” and this year as in previous years we’re very happy with the quality of the grapes produced at Rathfinny and the credit for that has to go to Cameron Roucher and his team who work throughout the year to get to this point #Harvest2018