2016 GROWING SEASON
August is one of the most beautiful times in the vineyard (Oct/Nov with its autumnal colours is hard to beat). Veraison is a stage in the vines lifecycle where nature really works its magic, the berries transition from green, hard and bitter to soft, purple and ripe.
Head Winemaker Neil Whyte says despite less than ideal weather conditions from budburst through to flowering (March – May) the crop is looking excellent and veraison is now ticking along nicely.
2016 Growing Season So Far
“This year we have had wet winter but not a cold one. March and April saw contrasts heat and cold, wet and dry; and budburst was underway at the end of March.
To keep everyone on their toes, the cold and wet weather conditions continued with storms at the end of May, just at the start of flowering which resulted in a long flowering period. Despite this, flowering went well, and we anticipate harvest to begin towards the end of September, on average a week later than last year.
Even though June saw a prolonged period of fruit-set, the sized crop (size and amaount of bunches) is looking very good. Everything is in balance which is essential as a blanced vine = a balanced wine!
The Merlot bunches are big and loose with a little millerandage (Also known as "hens and chicks," it is an irregular fruit set in which the berries on a grape cluster are not uniform in size, with some achieving full size while others remain tiny and seedless), whereas the Cabernet Franc bunches are more regular; small and tightly packed.
June and July were hot and dry generally, and the moisture accumulated over the winter proved a valuable reserve for the vines. Veraison started at the end of July, but with very hot, dry, almost drought-like conditions, there was little movement until a few light showers at the beginning of August, kicked things off. Mid-veraison 12th August”.