Posted by Stuart Bourne
Welcome to everyone, from Stuey Bourne and all the crew at Barossa Valley Estate (BVE), as we embark on a wonderful journey that will be, by the time we are done, vintage 2009 at BVE. At regular points along the adventure, I'll be writing up my thoughts and observations, plus providing the odd photo or two, so you can follow us as we make the wines of 2009, in the heart of the Barossa Valley. You can then keep up to speed with us, as our fruit ripens, our grapes are picked, and our ferments chug along, and hopefully get some insight into what it is to go through the maze that is vintage.
Firstly, where are we up to and how did we get here? The growing season in the second half of last year (remember that we are Southern Hemisphere dwellers, so our summer now, leading into fall, is still your winter in the north as you head toward spring) has been good, with a dry winter and dry spring, mild weather and healthy-looking vine canopies. December was relatively cool and mild, with a touch of rain that freshened everything nicely, as we moved toward the heat of summer. January was fairly mild up until just very recently, when Mother Nature turned up the heat. As I write this, we are still experiencing warm to hot conditions, but temps will be lower later in the week and ripening will continue.
We are kicking off this week with Chardonnay for table wine, which is normally our first pick of the season, so the crew here have stripped all the equipment, cleaned it all, and now wait patiently for the first fruit to arrive.
You can feel the tension in the air, as we all wait for that first delivery of the new season, and wonder what we are in for. I've included a picture of a couple of bunches from last week. I've been hanging around the tasting bench looking at analysis of these developing grapes (and still dreaming about my last round of golf, which may be the last one I get for a while), and matching it up to the taste of the juices. As winemakers, it is integral to establish a picking time, which is why I spend a significant amount of time visiting vineyards and tasting juice samples prior to picking.
|Chardonnay, Sémillion and Shiraz bunches|
Tim Skogstrom — Thousand Oaks, California — February 4, 2009 12:19pm ET
Thomas Matthews — February 4, 2009 4:37pm ET
Faith Wells — February 4, 2009 5:52pm ET
Stuart Bourne — February 4, 2009 11:46pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 6, 2009 12:20am ET
Stuart Bourne — February 9, 2009 6:59pm ET
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