While a later than normal start to vintage it was reminiscent of vintages 10 years ago. It has been so dry in previous years I think we all forgot what it was like to have a wet year!
To give you an idea in 2015 we got 650mm and in 2016 844mm. Our average rainfall sits around 600-700mm. So far, this year we have had 136 mm. However, we were lucky not to receive any large down pours of 20 mm or more during vintage. In fact, April ended up being quite dry.
This year's first pick our Muller Thurgau on 13th March at 10.8 Baume. Low Baume but the flavour is intense which is exciting. Chardonnay was next to come off on 17th March at 11.8 Baume but again the flavour is there and the pH and acid prefect.
We handpicked our 'droopy clone' Pinot on 23rd March and 'up right clone' on the 29th March. Pinot Noir is hand-picked whole bunch fermented and left on skins for approx. 20 days. It is always fun and rewarding doing some small batch winemaking.
In-between we picked the Riesling on the 25th March, picked at 10.7 Baume. With intense flavour early on really allowed the opportunity to pick earlier than usual which means heaps of flavour with a strong clean acid finish. The wine looks stunning and I really feel like we got it oh so right!
We also handpicked some Riesling and did a small batch of 'skin contact' Riesling. The skin contact really brings out the phenolics. Stay tuned on that batch as we are working on a duel project with another local company on a seasonal product with a difference.
Next was our Shiraz picked on April 11th. We saw an increase in yields for our Shiraz and a high-quality crop that continues to produce great cool climate shiraz. The Baume was a respectable 13.
We then picked the rest of our reds Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon on Good Friday the 14th April. Very Excited to make a straight Cabernet Franc again. The Merlot will go into our Cabernet Merlot. The intense colour and flavour of these wines never fails to be exciting. The Cabernet was picked at 13.5 and looks intense.
We had a small parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon come in on Anzac Day for our Cabernet Merlot Blend. Selected from a nearby vineyard and keeping Mt Barker on the label which is very important to us.
A solid vintage with later ripening than recent years. Low Baume with intense flavours shows promise for the whites and softness for the reds, with high quality fruit being produced. A hard but exciting vintage.
Galafrey celebrates with their 40th Vintage this year. It been a roller coaster ride over 40 years none more so than the last 15 years. Like most vintages, I feel invigorated and excited about the wines we are producing and look forward to seeing them through to bottling and beyond.
CEO & Winemaker