Nigel's thoughts....


(God is subtle, but he is not vindictive; Albert Einstein)

We’re now a week in to vintage and, fingers crossed all is not too tricky. This has been the strangest year in weather terms that we have seen for quite a while. It started with an incredibly warm and early spring, with near perfect weather until just before Christmas. Then the cool and rain moved in, with the season being unsettled, with weekly rain (unheard of in Central) and a lot of cloudy broken weather. We were on top of the obvious risks of mildew and rot, so that hasn’t been an issue for us, but as we’ve moved into the earliest harvest yet, the Pinot fruit has been looking… well… confused might be a good way to put it.

Although the vines are green and fresh looking, some of the fruit is becoming soft and flaccid, with significant damage from wasps, or we think they might be the culprits. It is needing careful sorting, which is something of a novelty for us, but the flavours are good so we are cautiously optimistic. Some alcohols might be lower than usual, which will be a nice thing.

If the weather has been troublesome all the way up to vintage, it has been amazingly co-operative so far for the harvest. A week of near perfect weather last week allowed us to get six days of picking under our belts. Sunday was a day off and we had a nice refreshing shower to clean things up. Now we are back to work on the Monday and have a week of perfect weather maps promised. Two weeks of hard picking will break the back of the task, so it would be a great relief to all if this is what pans out.

Gilles, our vintage chef started work this week. Great for me to have time for other things, and will be great to have somebody else’s food to eat!