I’m in all sorts of trouble as I forgot to invite several people down to help with picking over the last two weeks..Sorry, I’ll try and remember next year! But save the date for 2016 “Mid-October Harvest at Rathfinny”.
However, we had some fantastic support over the last two weeks from local people responding to an ad in the local paper. All were really enthusiastic with many saying they wanted to come back for pruning in the new year.
This year’s harvest overall was very good. Our fruit was very clean with no sign of rot or botrytis – perhaps showing the positive side of being on a slightly windy site? The yields were slightly higher than expected and the sugar and acidity levels are perfect for Sparkling wine, despite the poor summer we had.
We’d earmarked a certain block of Pinot Noir Précoce (an early ripening variety) to make into still red wine. However, our local badger population has developed a taste for ripe grapes and they managed to eat half the crop, even through the netting!
The Pinot Noir and Pinot Meaner did well, faring a little better than the Chardonnay, and the Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris did very well, with good flavours, sugar and acidity levels.
So overall I’m very happy. We’ve now had our first ‘proper’ harvest and the Winery is beginning to smell of fermenting wine. This is the first year that I can say that we have had confirmation that we do have a great site to grow grapes.
Lastly, I have to share this little oddity. It’s a small bunch of Pinot Gris that is half white and half red grapes. It’s very rare and apparently called a Harlequin.
One of the berries is three quarters Pinot Noir and a quarter Pinot Gris. The DNA of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir is very similar and that is demonstrated in this bunch.
Those more technically minded: Chardonnay – Brix 16.5 – 17.5, TA 16, pH 2.93 – 3.04 – Pinot Noir – Brix 17.5 – 22, TA 13, pH3.0 – 3.2
Now the vineyard team can take a bit of a breather, collect in nets and put away the bins for another year. But we still have my Riesling to harvest! It’s currently sitting under netting and I’m hopefully it will reach required sugar levels in mid/late November. In time for ‘Late Harvest Riesling’…
Always the optimist.