A Fruit Day
The vineyard team are busy dropping fruit (sometimes referred to as "green harvest") to reduce the number of bunches per vine. It is important for wine quality that the fruit to leaf ratio is appropriately balanced with consideration also given to how the season is progressing. As colour change quickly progresses (called veraison), it is an opportune time to make any final adjustments to bunch numbers by removing the greenest looking to ensure a more uniform ripening. Bunches on the vines are counted, weighed and recounted many times with spreadsheets carefully analysed to ensure we get it right.
Nets are quickly applied to keep the birds away. But we don't net everything as hawks are encouraged to patrol the vineyards by offering them the rabbits that are shot as part of our normal pest control.
The 2016 Pinot Noirs have completed their malolactics and there are many blind tastings to evaluate the various vineyard lots. While the Block 3 and Block 5 are obvious (being limited by their size), a selection is carefully made to determine which of the Calvert and Cornish Point lots will bear the respective vineyard name as a single vineyard bottling. We are looking for "Cornish Point-ness" and "Calvert-ness": purity, transparency and authenticity are the descriptors we are seeking, rather than wines of fruit power and concentration. Racking of the barrels starts soon after the blends are finalised. The Bannockburn is racked to tank and ready for bottling, while the single vineyard wines are racked off their gross lees and returned to older barrels for a further 3-7 months of barrel ageing.