A few weeks on from calling a wrap on picking, we’ve now called a wrap on the wine making too. Last Saturday we hosted a thank you BBQ / party for all our workers to mark the end of harvest. It was an opportunity to taste our recently bottled 2015 Shiraz, which is pretty damn good now and will be great in a few years. Release date to come.
This year, we made more wine than we have since 2010, making two separate batches totalling 6500 L and with only myself, the President-Elect in charge (The President disputes this). One batch, which is sitting at around 15.5% abv will be named after our 1964 Bedford Truck (to be called Bed’s Red, or some variant) as it carries a punch. In the other vat, is the 2016 Republic Shiraz – a blend of grapes picked throughout the harvest (from under-ripe to over-ripe) sitting more mildly at 14% abv. That’s the plan for now anyway, they tend to change as the wine matures.
Working in smaller batches (3-4 half-tonne bins at a time) made winemaking more manageable, but a lot more constant – so we are relieved to be finished. Pressing was possible with just our two working presses, however it still required several mornings work between myself, Brian & Alan. And then there was the stress of only having partially filled tanks for a couple of weeks while the last vats finished fermenting.
We arrived at the finish line with a good (adjusted) pH, but a less than ideal TA. This seemed to be the story of Shiraz for 2016 and was often feedback we had from lots of customers. Improving the acidity during harvest is something to research and work on next year, but is a product of the heat – a rapid and short harvest.
Our wines are about two weeks into their Malo Ferment and as we are always working on getting better, we are developing ourselves a lab in our winery for me to use some of my Chemistry skills. So far this has just meant more accurate pH and running some Total Acidity titrations – but this will soon be including Thin-Layered Chromatography (to test MLF) as well as SO2 and Alcohol determinations. Once established, we will be able offer testing to those that want to visit with their wine samples. Watch this space.