12 Mar Autumn 2008 Harvest
Well, down in Denmark we’ve had some gorgeous weather the last weeks and there has certainly been a change in the air, signifying the onset of Autumn with some lovely cool, crisp mornings.
Perfect for gentle ripening of our grapes (although the darker mornings are proving a bit difficult in readying the boys in time for school bus!)
As it’s been a dry year we are picking earlier than usual and the flavours are really generous and ripe. Yum!
The Chardonnay came off last weekend and once again our mixed bunch (no pun intended) of loyal friends, family and die-hard wine lovers joined us for a morning of snipping. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it?
Well, the nice thing for the grapes was that they were rinsed by the gentle rain the day before the scheduled picking which meant for us, the pickers, that the leaves were a tad wet in the early morning and after half an hour we were rather damp!
The bunches, though, were gorgeous. Full, and free from any bird-peck or disease – as we have come to expect at MOOMBAKI.
We mustn’t be complacent though, as loads of work goes into ensuring the fruit comes off the vines in such good condition (and at perfect ripeness). I clearly remember the exclaims of the experienced pickers from back a few years ago at the good condition of our fruit compared to what they had picked at other vineyards.
And achieving consistently clean fruit is a process that begins much earlier in the season when we cane prune the vines in order to put new wood down every year (less disease pressure) rather than the much swifter spur pruning, and then in mid January we fully net the vineyard to keep out the pesky birds.
Rather laborious you might think but the results are there for the tasting and we really believe in this hands on management of the vines and the resulting quality of the harvest.
But, enough on vineyard management and back to picking – well, after a few hours we were done (although “quality control” kept spotting the odd missed bunch) and we were rewarded with a warming bowl of own-grown beef, beans, fresh herbs (and bottom of the vegie drawer) soup. And lots of tea!
So hopefully our pickers will all be back in a few weeks for our red pick (and yes, I promise to make a chocolate cake next time, James!)