#vintage2018 The christening
Updated: Mar 20, 2018
So there we were, standing on the verge of our epic new adventure. We were ready, with just enough time to celebrate Christmas with our family before diving into the sea of grapes that this vintage would offer up. Our first solo voyage!
The phone buzzed. It was the 21st of December. The message reads..
"The sample we did this morning returned a Baume of 12.5. I think this is high but...we need to react!
Holy ####! Its not even Christmas yet. Hold your horses...I am not 'actually' ready!
A little scrambling and rechecking and sure enough the first lot of grapes were ready to rock and roll! We scheduled them in for the day before Christmas Eve with fingers crossed that the harvester that belonged to the owner of these grapes would be put back together in time for the pick! These were not our grapes but we had offered to lend a hand with them to the wonderful producer that had offered up a little bit of space for us in his winery so that we would be able to make our wines!
It was touch and go but at 5pm on the 22nd, the day before pick day, we had confirmation that all would be ok!
3.30am, 23/12/2017. Bleary eyed we rock-paper-scissored for who would go and take the PMS to the harvester and help out on the early shift, and who would get to stay home with the boys until the more civilised hour of 6am, when they would need to be dragged down to the winery with laptop,movie and a bag of snacks in tow to keep them happy while we crushed and pressed. I drew the short straw and headed out the door!
The weather was perfect and the temperature still chilly meaning the grapes would arrive at the winery in excellent condition. The christening of the new vintage was here!
Not surprisingly, as with the christening of most vintages, things did not go smoothly. The fridge plant needed to be patched together with some garden hose and plumbers tape, but it was soon working! The bins for tipping the grapes would not stay on the forklift so we had to revert to old school ways, but bucket by bucket the grapes made it into the crusher.
When they were finally tucked away safely in the press, ready to have the goodness squeezed out of them, we could finally take a breath! We washed down ,and after some tasting and testing, we could finally smile. If this was any indication of what was to come it would all be worth it. That vibrant green juice that was delicately draining out from the press was delicious!
We were not done yet though. Two hours of pressing plus just as much in clean up, which included the glamorous task of squeezing myself into the press to hose it out, and by early afternoon we had the lid closed and the place shining again.
The kids were restless and we were tired and sticky, covered in juice and skins. We knew we would have to come in late Christmas eve to rack the tank before jumping in the car to visit family on the coast so that we could finally get that little bit of rest on Christmas day before harvest was really and truly upon us, but we did it!
It was time to pop the cork and celebrate the christening of #vintage2018! Our first solo ride was here, although we knew we were not alone. The fantastic producers of the region would be here to lend us a hand, as we would be for them. Our own first grapes of the season would be a few days off but the adventure had started.
PS. That Verdelho is still looking awesome and I will reveal where you can try some as soon as it is in bottle which should be within weeks!