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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Harvest Update - A Good Finish

Read this season's previous harvest updates: And It Begins, Nearly Through the Whites, Halfway Through Reds, Picking (at) the Right Time.

The end of vintage seemed to come rather quickly here at Vasse Felix as it's only been two weeks since we picked our last grapes. Oddly, it's only been four days since my last day and vintage seems like months ago! We did have a great send off on Friday with our end of vintage party. We started out with a lovely lunch at Bunker's Beach Cafe, which sits as close to the water as you can get; the food was great and naturally complimented by several wines. We then carried on back into town and had a few more drinks at Wino's.
The vintage crew may have left but there is still plenty of work to be done at the winery. There are a dozen red fermentors still full of must, which have finished fermenting but are being left on skins to undergo extended maceration (process to be discussed in a later post). There is also plenty of barrel filling and organizing to be done in the red barrel hall. It's getting pretty compacted in there since all the newly filled 2013 reds are being added to the 2012 reds still in barrel (Vasse Felix uses an 18-month barrel program for red varietals).
I'd like to thank the Vasse Felix team for having me this vintage. I enjoyed working with you all, and was able to learn some new things while sharing some of my knowledge. The term I thought best described Vasse Felix was 'large boutique' winery. Despite being one of the largest wineries in the region (we processed about 1,500 tonnes this vintage), winemakers here keep every batch of grapes/wine separate right up until it's time to blend for bottling. We had several hundred different batches of 2013 wines, all of which get the same care and attention as the next. This not only gives the greatest number of options when blending time arrives, but also allows winemakers to learn as much as they can about their different vineyard blocks and grape sources as possible.

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