Read this season's previous harvest updates: And It Begins, Nearly Through the Whites.
I've been blatantly absent from the internet for the past several weeks due to some long work hours (and of course, squeezing in the odd surf when I have the chance). Last I wrote, we were just getting ready to receive the last of our white varietals here at Vasse Felix, and preparing to move onto red varietal harvesting.
Red varietal processing is rather time consuming and has now taken over most of our wine work; the majority of our white wines have finished ferment and been packed away in tanks or barrels (the most glaring exception to this is the Cut Cane Semillon that arrived just over a week ago and is slowly moving through fermentation).
Tomorrow marks the beginning of our final push of the 2013 vintage; the most recent harvesting schedule has the remainder of the fruit set to arrive during the next two weeks (though any winemaker will tell you this can never be set in stone, there's just too many variables). Thus far, we've received the majority of our Shiraz and Malbec, along with a few batches of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet France. This leaves us waiting primarily on the later ripening Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
Margaret River's reputation rests largely on its superb Bordeaux varietal wines. Cabernet Sauvignon is of course the shining star, but I've been very impressed with the Malbec and Petit Verdot. These are two varietals that have always been a major blending component in Bordeaux wines and have more recently began making marks as single-varietal wines in New World regions (most people would think of Argentina when discussing Malbec, and California has several lovely single-varietal Petit Verdots available).
As a self-proclaimed yeast lover, I've been very surprised with the use of indigenous yeast here at Vasse Felix. I've always been a big fan of using indigenous yeast when possible, but none of the previous wineries I have worked with have relied so extensively on indigenous yeast, particularly with red varietals. The wines turn out beautifully too!