Our First Harvest 23, Oct 2012

Our first harvest is over! With a team of friends and family we picked the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier on the 13th October. Sugar levels were very good considering the summer we’ve had – 70/73 oecshle and acidity was very good too, at 10/12. Perfect levels for sparkling wine. We knew that the yield would be low, a poor flowering period led to uneven fruit set and small bunch size. We managed to pick 850kgs of good, clean fruit. Considering that some vineyards have not picked at all this year, we were pleased to have been able to achieve this.

As for the Chardonnay, we might have left them a little longer on the vine but a large flock of starlings took up residence in the trees next door and began to gorge themselves on the grapes. They seem to be impervious to all our anti-bird measures and unafraid of brightly dressed people or loud noises. We took the hint and brought forward the harvest to the 21st October. Only just in time – we picked over 1.5 tonnes but estimate that the birds got at least 250kgs. The quality was good – nice clean fruit with sugar levels at 65/68 oecshle and acidity at 13/15.

All our fruit was pressed on the day of picking. We estimate we will have 2000 bottles for our first vintage. Now we only have a few weeks to wait until we can taste the base wine after primary fermentation.