Not often does a harvest like 2016 come around. I have never completed a harvest where the fruit has been so clean and free of disease. We started the season with some very cold and wet conditions. While we avoided any frosts, flooding or hailstorms we did have some terrible weather at the beginning of June. This profoundly effected the flowering of our Grenache vines but the other varieties flowered very well.

When summer did arrive it was unrelenting. We had weeks of heatwave conditions and no sign of rain. In fact the only rain event that threatened veered north at the last minute and dumped 250mm of rain on the hills to the north. Therefore, with the bad flowering and drought conditions, we were expecting a very small harvest.

Isla and I believe that it is very important to be out picking with our picking team. We only have a very small team (Thanks Greg, Polly, Jemima, Martin and everyone else!)but that means that we can train them to be very particular with what they bring into the winery. As everything is picked by hand we can ensure that only the best grapes get picked and the rest unfortunately get dumped onto the ground. With 2016 though we had the best grapes that I have possibly seen in the fifteen years that I have been making wine. And contrary to all predictions we had a bumper harvest, well down by 15%, but much better than we expected!

Paul Gordon

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