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

18th April 2007


Well with vintage behind us things are starting to settle down a bit. All the wines have finished fermenting and are now safely in barrel (or will be by this afternoon).


When fermenting in barrels you canít fill them to the top as you lose too much; however, now they have stopped fermenting the chardonnay barrels can now be safely combined in to fewer barrels. The different yeasts used to ferment the chardonnay has yielded some quite interesting results on the nose and will require a closer look a bit further down the track.


The Riesling from Bowen Hill vineyard has an amazing floral nose. This has been a consistent characteristic of this batch of grapes for the last three years. Everything else about the wine seems to be in balance at this stage. Alas, the quantities are so low we may not have enough for a commercial release, we will have to see.


The Pinot has all been pressed and the different batches combined and will be racked to barrels this afternoon. This is the first time I have combined the different batches at this stage and results from a few discussions I had with other winemakers late last year; it will also allow for direct comparison of the different barrels in use. Speaking of barrels, I was preparing a brand new Seguin Moreau barrel to be used today. When you take the bung out and put your nose in to them for the first time - the aromas from these new barrels is sensational! Of the three different batches of pinot, the wild yeast seems to have produced the wine I like best at this stage but each component does add something to the overall mix.


The vineyard has started to become dormant with the leaves all quickly yellowing and starting to fall off Ė an impressive site. It wonít be long until pruning Ė but perhaps bottling first! With the pressure off in the vineyard and winery, there has been time for other things Ė like training on the bike for the Ballarat Autumn Day (BAD) Ride on 6th May 2007. We really enjoyed the ride last year (despite the rain, wind and sleet) and have become a sponsor of this event for the first time. This is a very enjoyable social ride and not a race. There is a link to the official site from our events page.


We also managed a visit to a local winery the other day (something we do enjoy but never get time for). Captainís Creek Organic Wines has an impressive and relatively new cellar door that I hadnít managed to get to yet. Doug and Carolyn May are absolutely delightful hosts. In addition to their Pinot and Chardonnay table wines, they have a very nice sparkling wine Hepburn, and sell organic veggies from their own property. These organic veggies will feature as part of a lunch during the Hepburn Swiss Italian Festa on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29th April. It is well signposted from the Midland Highway. You will enjoy the experience if you can get there.