12.21pm, Monday 11th April, Yalumba Clocktower, Angaston, Eden Valley
On Friday afternoon, it took forever to get back to the winery – believe me every roadworks that could slow me down did! Even the line marking crews out on Gomersal Road got me! But it worked out in my favour, because I ran into our vineyard manager Darrell Kruger at the 1564 Shiraz vineyard just next door to the winery – Angaston side. It’s an old Barossa vine selection – 1564 – planted on its own roots,. Any rate, the team was getting set up to harvest, only they had an unusual two tractor system going on with the short rows at the top of the vineyard. The harvester would go along, the fruit going into bins on tractor A – the harvester would stop – Tractor A would whiz off – Tractor B would pull up under the fruit conveyor – the harvester would keep going. Now it turns out that, from experience – these vines have been in the ground for about 15 years – the fruit from the ends of the rows is red hot, and generally makes Signature, whilst the rest of the fruit makes either Scribbler (blended with Cabernet) or Patchwork (blended with other 15- to 20-year-old Shiraz from the Barossa).
It’s nice to be able to illustrate the lengths that the grapegrowing and winemaking sides of Yalumba go to – to get the best out of the situation. In the first picture, here’s the length of the rows, and the harvester is picking into Tractor A – going to Scribbler or Patchwork.