With #NZV16 coming to an end, I have a wonderful video treat for you all.
Join me as I chat with the talented winemaker, Andrew Petrie, and get his thoughts on how the style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has changed over the years, what’s hot for the 2016 vintage and also a bit of inside knowledge on the wonderful Wither Hills fortified wine – Legado.
Did I mention we have finished 12 hour shifts?!
It’s back to 8 hours a day for us winery peoples and how thrilled we are. Today was our first revisiting these more normal working hours so we made the most of the daylight and headed off to Pollard Park for a BBQ and beers. Big ups to Viktor and Pavlina for cooking up a storm.
Today we are in the lab with the wonderful Peter!
The lab excites me. It radiates a calm, controlled focus during the often chaotic moments that vintage can present. Or perhaps it’s the stash of chocolate and sweets that I often see in there that elevate my pulse rate… Either way, it’s a great space with some wonderful characters manning the bunsen burners (and other equipment I have no idea what to call).
Apologies that this post is a day late. And to be honest it’s not finished. But here is the start of a winery equipment glossary. Great for those moments you find yourself in a winery and need to grab a reducer….
Plenty more to add to this, just gotta sneak around for more pics.
Tank tasting valve. Make sure this is closed before the juice starts being pumped to the tank.
Valve. Usually 2 inch or 3 inch. Great to have closed when you don’t want things leaking out…
The white hoola hoop thing is a gasket. They go around the door or the tank.
A padfilter. It helps remove the solids from wine and kind of looks like an accordion.
A variety of gasses.
Impella pump. There are a variety of these but the good thing about this one is that it doesn’t need priming. So it just goes. Amazing.
Juice come through the destemmer and crusher to the must pump.
Auger. It helps move the grapes from the receival bin to the destemmer and crusher.
Destemmer. Great for removing the stems of grapes.
Vertical press. Used for Pinot Noir.
Lines that help the juice get to the right tank.
Wonderful Wither Hills workers plunging Pinot
Open top fermenter. Often used for Pinot Noir.
Oak barrique. This holds 225L
Dry ice maker. Such an awesome piece of equipment. We should really open a cocktail bar.
Rotary Drum Vacuum. Used to separate the juice from the lees and reduce waste.
Conveyor belt. Used to get rid of the grape skins.
Today was like Christmas.
*Please note there is a heavy dose of sarcasm in parts of the following paragraph
I awoke to my reliable alarm at 4:45am. This is after a superb evening of celebrating my Ma’s 60th birthday (it was superb, a sarcasm exempt point). So you can imagine how bright eyed and bushy tailed I was to have to hop on my bike and cruise on out to work, embarking on what I’m sure was going to be a stimulating, invigorating and simply wonderful 12 hour shift that would surely fly by. With no cleaning involved at all.
Then, there was a rumor in the smoko room that us day shift workers may have the option of leaving early or potentially having the whole day off. I’m slightly embarrassed by how useless I was at suppressing my excitement.
The rumor was confirmed by Captain Bill at the end of our morning meeting. It was one of the most wonderful gifts I could have received. Now, it’s not that I don’t enjoy my role. Most days are super. However with a lull in picking there is only so much cleaning that can be done and being the end of my week of 12 hour shifts, and a run of nights with shorter snooze time than is ideal, I was flagging.
It also meant I got to spend the whole day with my awesome sister who has been down for the weekend from Auckland with her ace hubby. Along with our wonderful Ma and Pete, we had a great family day. Being away from these super humans for the last 11 or so years has definitely led to me treasuring days like today. Where my sis and I regress to being about 10 years old, annoying each other and probably embarrassing Ma in public. Magic times.
On the wine front, here’s a rather entertaining video on the yeast process. With guests Jeremy and Anika.
A stop and pause summary of where we’re at for you all today.
10’500 tonne has come in so far, there’s still about 700 tonne to come. However we’re on a picking break until about Tuesday as we await the ripening of some Riesling and Pinot Gris. Good things take time. And in the meantime, I get to rock out with a water-blaster!
Fun in the sun today as we got to go picking! It was amazing being outside and bringing in some of our Pinot Noir for the Wither Hills Legado Fortified Wine.
This is made much like a ruby port and is even pressed by some of the finest feet that Wither Hills has to offer. Some of the team got into fancy dress for the occasion and the only thing missing was perhaps a glass of fortified wine in their hands to further enhance the mood.
Apart from that there was Pinot plunging, cleaning (goes without saying these days), to be honest I’m trying to think back to yesterday and what I did (this post is a day late, apologies) and I can’t even remember. There is a slight blur, perhaps it was the beer Friday haze… But I do have an overall impression that it was a fun day. As most tend to be currently.