The Waiting Game | February 2017 Vintage Update


Nerves and excitement kick in as we count down to a later-than-usual harvest in McLaren Vale


At this time of year we grow both grapes and grey hairs as we wait and see what the weather will do. It’s a little like putting on a play – lines are learned, the cast rehearsed - except that we can’t be sure that the stage won’t collapse as the show starts. Fortunately, McLaren Vale is a wonderful place and I have confidence that the sun will shine, the grapes will ripen, and much fine wine will again be made. 

Ian, our Operations & Logisitics Manager, asked me the other day if he should start cleaning the grape bins for harvest, he’s clearly an optimist as we are weeks away yet. Normally I would have been busy forgetting Valentine’s Day with the rush of the first fruit, but this Valentine's Day has passed and we will be lucky to have started by the end of February. I suppose this worked well from my wife’s point of view.

I expect we will start with the Floozie. If you are driving along McMurtrie Road to the Cellar door you can see our Sangiovese vines lining the road near the ‘Drama Queen’ pink tank. They look a little bushy this year as a result of all the rain, but underneath that canopy you may notice some fairly compact darkening bunches. There are a little less than I would have liked, however, flavour intensity should be up this year and that’s never a bad thing.


Nic Bourke, Winemaker