Harvest Report: Voyager Estate - part eight
Justerini & Brooks - 19 March 2013
Tuesday 19th March 2013
Following the rapid completion of the whites in late February, summer finished quite abruptly and, the first few weeks of March have been relatively mild and unsettled.
Fortunately there has been minimal rain and, the cooler conditions have allowed the reds to finish off slowly, building great flavour and excellent tannin ripeness. We harvested our first block of Shiraz with a small portion of Viognier last Tuesday, and now have a steady week or so of our Shiraz harvest in front of us. The early signs are very encouraging, with fine soft tannins, plush ripe fruit and great generosity of flavour.
The weather forecast for the next week appears perfect, with mild days, light breezes and plenty of sunshine.
Our yields on Shiraz have been within our targeted range of 5 to 6 tonnes per hectare, however I anticipate our Cabernet Sauvignon will be slightly lower than expected due to the very small berry size.
The quiet couple of weeks has enabled the winery team to keep on top of their workload and even have the odd day off – a rarity during the harvest period!.
Meanwhile, the vineyard team is really busy again netting the vines, as the dreaded Silvereye (small native grape loving bird,) has begun to arrive in small squadrons.
At this stage, I anticipate completing our Shiraz harvest late next week and, moving onto the Merlot and finally Cabernet Sauvignon during early April.
What appeared to be an early harvest has suddenly reverted to a more “normal” harvest window for the reds. We are also gearing up for our Friends and Family harvest day on Saturday, where we will be hand harvesting a small block of Shiraz. Run in a slightly less serious format than a normal pick - there is plenty of breaks for enjoying a glass of bubbles or red with breakfast followed by morning tea and a long lunch!.