Halfway there!

 

We have been quiet since our first harvest post…but with good reason:)  It’s been an amazingly busy few weeks of harvest and we are gradually making up for the late start of harvest.

Susan is doing her second harvest, in her 7 years as winemaker with us, as a pregnant lady and this time she is 28 weeks pregnant in the middle of harvest without skipping a beat – Wonder Woman in our eyes.  I checked in with her and her team yesterday while they were hard at work and was told that we are almost about to hit the halfway mark with a massive 383tons. Last year we crushed 836 tons.

The next two weeks will probably be our busiest in the cellar and the team is eagerly awaiting the Sauvignon Blanc from Elgin as well as the last Semillon from Casey’s Ridge.  Our first batch of the Chenin Blanc should also be arriving from Elgin this week; a grape with lots of promise, hopefully following its predecessors as an award-winning wine.

While most of our harvest for this week is our whites from Casey’s Ridge, we are also expecting our Vrede en Lust Petit Verdot, Shiraz en Cabernet Sauvignon to arrive by tomorrow and the rest of the week.  The reds are ripening at a quick and steady pace and should be taking over the bulk of the cellar during the next two weeks.

The photo’s below give some glimpse into what happens in the cellar. Whilst its true that quality starts in the vineyard, its also vital to ensure that imperfect berries are ejected from the winery before they reach the fermenters or press. The image below shows some of this reject matter. Some may be ‘shot’ berries that never ripened, other may have been damaged by birds or the sun.

We have been using the Pellenc Automatic grape sorter since 2011 and it has really helped up our wine qualify a great deal.

 

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Grape and other matter rejected by our sorting machine

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The sorting machine is vital but noisy!

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First thing the gapes see when they arrive in the winery – the receiving bin with scale built in

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Ripe grapes heading to the automatic sorting machine which will reject the suspect berries

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All of our grapes are harvested by hand, early in the morning when its still cool

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The new barrels waiting for the 2014 wines!

 

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