Cool Climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Bended Knee Vineyard

Earlier Happenings...

Anyone with a small vineyard needs to be multi-skilled and able to juggle a number of tasks at one time. It also has its compensations. These pages track the many events in the life of the vineyard, here are some earlier weeks

1 May 2007


This is a great time of year for comfort food and I’ve noticed I keep going back to some old favourites: poached quinces1 and pears; stewed rhubarb; Chick pea, leek and potato soup2; Chicken in red wine; beef burgundy; mashed potato (with celeriac and garlic); and red cabbage! I have just come across a new recipe for red cabbage in Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion and enjoy cooking (and eating) it – try it if you can find the recipe. Some of these slow cooked dishes are just the sort of thing to put on in the late afternoon while I’m pottering around in the winery and come back in to a warm house full of wonderful aromas. Of course, this means the weather (and food) is also more conducive to Pinot and Chardonnay…


I spent some time this morning looking at each of the barrels, how the new (2007) wines are settling down and how the 2006 wines are shaping up before blending and bottling. The new Chardonnay barrels are already slightly different; the two different yeasts having thrown up some interesting results. The wine fermented with the new yeast has some almost fig-like characters and much greater length than the “identical” barrel with the older yeast. The (2007) pinot barrels are progressing through malo-lactic fermentation and it is quite hard to discern any differences as yet.


Of the 2006 pinot barrels, there are some stand out ones: one a new Francois Freres barrel and the other from a portion that was wild fermented. This last one has incredible tannin structure, length, and surprisingly, cigar box aromas. It is unlikely that we will pull two barrels out for a special bottling, but what they add to the finished result could be impressive.


The “training” continues for the Ballarat Autumn Day (BAD) Ride on Sunday. This entailed a ride into Ballarat on the weekend for coffee and cake at L’Espresso, which is always good. We did justify it by heading in the opposite direction to start with and taking a circuitous route but I’m sure we made a funny sight undoing all the good work of the ride. This BAD ride is great fun, and entries are taken on the day. For more information, follow this link.

1Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion

2Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef