Thursday, 3 September 2015
This is always a difficult time of the year for me as we often we have to reduce the number of bunches of grapes on each vine so that the rest have a good chance of ripening properly.
The weather in June and July was warm, dry and sunny and as a result flowering and fruit set was very good, resulting in a lot of fruit on the vines. The Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir are particularly heavy. The bad news is that the weather during the last few weeks has been dreadful with huge downpours and low temperatures and we are unlikely to get enough sun and warmth to ripen all the grapes before harvest in mid October.
So we've decided to take off about 25% of the grapes, that normally just get thrown on the ground. Viticulturists call this a green harvest as it normally happens before veraison when the grapes change colour. Veraison has started but only just and we are probably a good week behind last year.
I know that this process will result in better quality fruit and therefore great wine, but it's still difficult to see bunches going to waste. This year we are going to try and use some of them to experiment producing a sauce vierge and some grape cordial with the help of Four Gables Fine Dining.