Well, we have just completed our first Baume’ test for the vineyard for the 2018 Vintage (31st Jan 2018).

We’ve got full veraison (well all but) and everything is looking in great shape, and the berries are ripening. The first test of the season doesn’t tell you much, but it creates a baseline for next week’s test and so on. Once we can see not only how ripe the grapes are at a given date, but how quickly they are ripening week by week, we can start to make more informed guesses about the starting date for picking. Based on Baume’ readings taken yesterday (31st Jan 2018), we are guessing that picking will begin on the last week of February and continue on for 2 or 3 weeks. However, this is only a guess until we get subsequent readings. Yesterday’s readings across 13 test sites gave an average reading of 9.4 Be’. This compares to 2017 when we were still only at 8.4 on the 4th Feb and the 2016 when we were already at 10.5 Be’ on the 1st Feb. You can see the full test site readings below.

Baume’ Readings

After the exhausting sprint of the 2016 harvest, and the very slow ripening of 2017, we look on track for a more normal harvest. But we will see what they say next week.

After the fortnight of very high temperatures, we are currently enjoying some cooler days (and nights). The vine coped well with the 40 deg. C days, but there was some burning of leaves and a bit of bunch loss on the western side of the rows. These cooler days in the mid to high 20s are a relief.

To get a more accurate idea of how the ripening may vary along the 400 meter rows I have divided them into North and South readings. There is not much difference, but it’s good to know. Over the 400 meters there is some difference in soil and some undulations.

The Tuohey block is elevated and rises quite sharply from bottom to top. The lower rows appear to be about a week ahead of the higher rows at this stage. But again, we will see what happens over the next few weeks.

Date Row 5-6 Sth Row 5-6 Nth Row 19-20 Sth Row 19-20 Nth Row 29-30 Sth Row 29-30 Nth Row 37-38 Sth Row 37-38 Nth Row 57-58 Sth Row 57-58 Nth N Row 41-41 T Row 13-14 T Row 30-31
C1654 C1654 BOB BOB PT23 PT23 C1654 C1654 C1654 C1654 R6WV28 PT23 PT23
31/01/2018 10.0 9.6 9.3 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.4 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.1 10.2 9.4

So get ready.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to bottle last years wine, check and clean equipment, organise the winemaking team and be ready to go.
And if you haven’t ordered your grapes yet, do it soon! Read about our Shiraz Grapes.

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