The 2016 vintage was a very BIG welcome to the Peninsula.
Ideal growing conditions throughout the year, coinciding with an excess of vine nutrient stored from previous low-yielding vintages, resulted in what is being heralded as one of the largest crops the Peninsula has seen for the past decade.
To manage these excess grape levels, in the lead up to vintage a good portion of the Pinot Noir fruit was dropped. This allowed us to ensure an even level of ripeness and quality throughout the vineyard that will only be seen with lower yields.
The continually warming climate that surrounds all of us has meant once again, vintage started earlier than ever before with our first Pinot Noir being picked on March 8, Chardonnay then followed on March 20.
Once begun, vintage was fast and furious, with nearly the entire vineyard ripening at the same time. A wonderful effort to keep up was made by our loyal group of pickers, continually nourished by Libby Sexton’s now famous lunches.
The wines are now just beginning to finish the ferments and are settling into the maturing stage of their lives in barrel, allowing for what I believe to be a first true point of reflection on the vintage. The Chardonnays from 2016 will, I believe, show a great level of fruit complexity and the Pinot Noirs should prove to be rich and intense wines, but should exude beautifully ripe Pinot Noir characters.
Given the quantity of fruit we were handling for our first vintage, I am exceptionally happy with the year. None of this would have been possible without the help of Nat & Rosalie White, our assistant wine maker Linda Hodges and our dedicated picking crew, with a special mention to our cellar hand Liam Scarpella (grandson of Nat and Rosalie).