From vineyard to winery, the transformation of grapes to wine begins for vintage 2023!
Harvest 2023 started well after a summer of even ripening and warm, dry days without heatwave conditions. Unfortunately towards the end of August, just as we began the harvest, we had 4 or 5 days of intense temperatures, which threatened to cause a rapid decrease in acidity levels so it was all hands on deck to get the white grapes harvested and into the winery. It was disappointing as the summer up to that point had provided warm, steady and dry conditions which meant the grapes ripened well and evenly. We took quick action to preserve freshness so we'l keep our fingers crossed, but it remains to be seen how yields will be affected.
At the winery, we sort the grapes as they arrive, removing any under-ripe grapes, or any that are not perfectly healthy. The white grapes (Chardonnay, Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc) are de-stemmed and gently pressed, to separate the must from the skins, before going into tank for fermentation.
The red grapes go straight into tank or barrel for fermentation, depending on the cuvée. Occasional pumping over (taking the must from the bottom of the tank and pumping it over the skins that have floated to the top) allows us to gently extract colour and structure from the Syrah and Grenache grapes. We've reduced the levels of extraction in our reds in recent years, giving fruitier, more elegant red wines
We'll issue our complete harvest report in November and update you on the progress of vintage 2023 as it comes to life!
Neasa & Laurent