10.43pm, Friday 8th February, Angaston, Barossa, South Australia
Howdy night owls, it’s been a long, long day in the Barossa today! It started just before 7am this morning when Dave rang me from the Yalumba weighbridge to let me know that the Viognier load that I was keen to see had just arrived. I’d forgotten all about it, was still in bed, but was off like a shot to the winery! Lucky it’s just 5 minutes across Kindergarten Hill to get there! So I had all the best intentions of putting this post up this morning, but I got waylaid. Menu planning for the Yalumba dinner at Chakra in Dublin in two weeks (forgot to tell you, just finalizing 6 weeks of events in Ireland and England, starting Feb 16th!), setting up a corporate tasting in one of the tanks under the winery for this Sunday, a tasting for a visiting conference of chartered accountants, a quick look at the Greenock twilight artisans market, drop a bottle of Antique Tawny off for a group of Yalumba fans having dinner at Vintners Bar & Grill, and now I’ve nearly finished for the day.
Here’s the Viognier update.
This fruit is from a Qualco vineyard – near Waikerie in the Riverland, about an hour’s drive north of us at Yalumba. It’s earmarked for the Y Series Viognier and so has been machine harvested, will be crushed, drained, and chilled (makes sure we retain maximum aromatics) – ready to start ferment within 24 hours. With the fruit for the ‘big sister’ Viognier to Y Series – the Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier – this will be hand picked, bag pressed and fermented out with wild (naturally occurring in the vineyard) yeasts. It’s all about ‘horses for courses’ and handling the fruit from each vineyard according to its potential.
So here’s our load of Viognier from Qualco, in 4 ton grape ‘bins’ – being ‘guarded’ by one of our resident magpies. (PS the magpie or ‘piping shrike’ is the bird emblem for the state of South Australia)
Yep – that’s what it looked like this morning, just after 7am. Now when I climbed up onto the trailer, here’s what a clean load of machine harvested Viognier looks like.
The fruit was about 11.5 Baume, possibly could have been a touch riper, but we’ll have a look at the juice tomorrow and see how it looks.
See ya when it’s the weekend.