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

29 March 2007.

I’ve awoken to glorious sunshine, a big relief as the gamble may just pay off. But we need to go back a week in time…


Last weekend saw much frenetic activity as we prepared to spend the weekend at Cellar Door at Southgate. This came on the back of the World’s Longest Lunch on 16th March, then a great day on the Duck Crawl on Tuesday. All three events are part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – a great celebration of food, wine and the experience of sharing them amongst good company and friends.


At Southgate, we participated in a stand with five other wineries from Ballarat and focused on showing how good and diverse Pinot Noir is from Ballarat. The message is certainly starting to get out.


Amidst this quite hectic weekend, Bowen Hill vineyard picked their Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - this was waiting for us to process when we returned from Melbourne. A much lower crop than previous years, the drought has certainly had an effect. Despite the lower crop levels, setting up and cleaning takes just as long – so a 1AM finish on Sunday.


Pauline had the early start to Melbourne Sunday morning while I did some more checks on the juice from the night before. Then a quick run through the vineyard for the all important sample of grapes that would determine if we picked this weekend. Alas, a result that could be interpreted either way! Rather than a clear cut decision, this became an exercise in judgment (and a little chance). However, weighing up the effect of leaving the grapes for yet an extra week, we opted to pick this weekend. Factored in to this decision, the forecast for this week was great ripening conditions early in the week, then rain and showers, then clearing for the weekend. This was the gamble, what effect would the weather play? Today was meant to be low 20’s and rain – so I am quite happy with the sun outside, this will continue the ripening process. We do desperately need the rain – but after Sunday.


Now the mad preparations before picking:

· Organize the pickers (pre warned)

· Coordinate with some friends helping with catering

· Order meat from butchers, veggies from green grocer, visit the cellar

· Prepare a couple of terrines and way too many cakes and desserts

· Clean the house!

· Finish preparations in the winery

· Get the nets off on Saturday