Vintage Report Spring 2011

Sun Rise winter in Winter

The creeks are flowing and the dams are full after reasonable rains through out the winter months. Pruning, one of the most important jobs in the vineyard at this time of the year is almost finished. Pruning sets up the vine for the coming vintage, as we need to leave the right amount of buds per variety, each having different requirements. To many buds and the vine will struggle to ripen the excess fruit, not enough and the vine will be to vegetive with too much growth and will be hard to manage through out the season.
The sheep have been doing their job eating all of the winter weeds, converting them into manure and distributing it around the vineyard as they roam about. Mind you, they will have to go as soon as the vines start to sprout, as they love those new green shoots of our Chardonnay. The first variety to bud burst in early Spring.
Compost is also spread over the vineyard during winter and is the corner stone of our nutritional program. Soil sampling is carried out in Autumn and analysed, any deficient minerals and elements are added to the compost along with our Biodynamic preparations. These aid in the breaking down of our canes from pruning and grape marc (seeds,skins & pips from last years winemaking) and are estimated to contain 80% of the nutrients required for our next years crop.
This all adds to the increase of our soil organic matter and to the sequencation of carbon and it’s recycling (the Buzz words of today) We believe this to be the only responsible and sustainable way to farm for the future.
What’s happening in the winery at the moment.
All of the new seasons whites are being fined and filtered ready for bottling with many already bottled. Displaying great fruit aromas with strong acidity that is a reflection of the hotter than normal vintage. This has brought the best out in, the varieties of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from the region this year. The marriage of these two varieties into the classic Margaret River blend, showing strong tropical fruit aromas and flavours with crisp acidity.

Pruning in Winter

The reds have finished ferment, pressed and racked off their lees (all solids removed) and put into barrel for further maturation and refinement. They will now be left in barrel for another 12 to 18 months for optimum integration of oak and fruit flavours.This will depend on the variety, fruit weight and style of wine required. All wines are showing ripe, red berry fruit flavours with fine tannins and structure developing. We are all looking forward to the release of these wine in the future.
Now with all of the winter jobs nearly complete we might take a couple of days off and go fishing. Skippy and Herring can be caught every where up and down the South West coast at this time of the year. There is nothing better than freshly caught fish pan fried in butter, washed down with a nice Margaret River Chardonnay or SBS.
Russ Reynolds – Owner and Founder of Clown Fish and joint owner of The Margaret River Regional Wine Centrehttp://www.mrwines.com

About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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