The 2014 vintage season kicked off earlier than expected, almost 2 weeks earlier due to the warmer than usual winter and spring which saw a very healthy budburst. Rain was in abundance during the growing phase and at ripening the weather, for once, turned sunny which led to almost perfect conditions.
The first of our fruit was harvested on the 18th of January, bringing in over 6 Tonnes of juicy Verdelho. Ten days later and our first batch of Chardonnay was ready to be hand harvested. Whole bunch pressed and cool ferments saw this wine into 40% new french oak where it will soften for another 5 months.
On the 1st of February we hand picked the second batch of Chardonnay from two iconic vineyards. Nightingales and Pooles Rock. Again whole bunch pressed, this juice went straight to oak for wild ferment and extended lees contact, which will remain in oak for a few more months.
On the 4th we harvested the first batch of Muscat which naturally makes our very popular Moscato, the second batch arriving 8 days later. The Red harvest kicked off with a neighbours Shiraz vineyard being harvested very early in the morning on the 12th followed by the rest of the Hunter Shiraz. Deep purple berries was an indication of a very good vintage so far.
Next it was off to Orange to harvest our new Pinot Gris fruit. Full of flavor this variety will please both red and white wine lovers alike. Back in the Hunter it was time to harvest the most purple of all grapes. Chambourcin. Sourced from the well know vineyard of Mount Eyre, this is just as soft and flavorsome as Chambourcin gets.
Into April and it was all hands on deck with fruit arriving from Orange with Cabernet, then onto Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet from the Hilltops region which will make a pretty exciting Cabernet Merlot blend, finishing at the end of April with our luscious fruit from the Padthaway region in South Australia which blends beautifully with our Hunter Shiraz to form the base of our Pavilion Shiraz.
All in all I would have to say it was one of the finer vintages I have seen and expect to see finer wines arriving at your home and cellar door from 2014.