Harvest Report: Voyager Estate, Part one

Harvest Report: Voyager Estate, Part one

Wednesday 9th February 2011
by Justerini & Brooks

February 2011: On the other side of the world a country battles with pretty much everything mother nature can throw at it. 

Flooding, cyclones, and now bush fires (not to mention the England Test XI) have beset the Australian people in the past two months, demonstrating with relentless ease just what a wild and powerful force nature can prove to be.

Some hours south of the recent fires, in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, Steve James and his team are readying themselves for another harvest. Earlier than usual, though as yet untouched by the troubles elsewhere, he has once again agreed to keep us up to date with his progress through the vintage....

Monday 7th Feb 2011:

"Well - here we go again with another year gone and a new harvest imminent.

We had some nervous moments during the weekend of the 29th and 30th of January. A tropical cyclone was forecast to move down the coast south of Perth, cross the coast about 80 Kms north of Margaret River, and bring gale force winds and buckets of rain!!. Fortunately it hit cold water and fizzled out, resulting in no wind and only a couple of light showers.

Currently our Chardonnay is about 11 Baume with good acid and extremely good early flavour development.

After some sampling and technical analysis followed by a good walk and tasting in the field tomorrow, I suspect we will be commencing our Chardonnay harvest later in the week.

Similar to the 2007 vintage, we are facing a very early harvest. This has been brought about due to the warm and dry spring conditions which resulted in early vine flowering.

Interestingly, all the reds are fully through veraison and are ripening well.

Although an early season, the ripening conditions so far have been close to perfect, with warm weather and no heat spikes.

Fingers crossed the rain the eastern states are receiving stays away and the warm sun shines for another 8 weeks.

I will send an update sometime next week.


- Steve James."