If we were to describe the 2018 vintage in just a few words it would be this: fast and furious!
We kicked off earlier than ever on the 19th of March and wrapped up on the 17th of April. The harvest was very condensed due to most grape varietals being ripe at the same time. Imagine our surprise at picking Chardonnay and Syrah on the same day! An anomaly to say the least. Each day we averaged 6 tonnes of hand-picked fruit each day. An incredible effort from our vineyard team.
The effort was matched by our winemaking team who spent long days processing all the fruit to wine.
We saw big berries this year due largely to the amount of rain we got through the growing season. To ensure concentration in the Pinot Noir the winemaking team decided to saignée the Pinot Noir, so this year folks, we will have a Pinot Noir Rosé! Buy the 2018 Rosé here!
This vintage Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were our star performers. Given the high-quality of the fruit we were also able to make Erin’s and Thomas Brothers’ – the first time since 2015.
We have continued making our Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir again comprising of mostly clones 667 and 115. Our general manager, Nick Gill, took the honour of official Vineyard Ferment co-ordinator. He hand-bucketed grapes into almost every fermenter.
All in all, we are really excited about the 2018 vintage. Ripe phenolics, good texture and fine-grained tannins. Expect very elegant and balanced wines!
- Dom Maxwell, Winemaker
The viticulturists greatest challenge is to balance yield so that flavour intensity and concentration is captured without the fruit ripening too quickly. If you pick based purely on sweetness, you’re left with a grape with sugar but no flavour or phenolic ripeness.
Grapes can achieve sugar ripeness relatively easily, but flavour development and ripe tannins only happens with time. Our goal at Greystone is to always capture terroir in the grape, and that only comes with phenolic ripeness.
Season dictated a lot more viticultural intervention – fruit thinning, de-lateralling, hand leaf removal. With the Syrah we even went to the extent of individually placing bunches, so that they were evenly spread out. This ensured adequate exposure to sun and airflow.
We would have had an incredibly heavy crop this year, but earlier in the season we decided to drop a significant amount of green fruit to ensure we did overload the vine. Because of this we were able to make our Verjuice!
- Mike Saunders, Viticulturist