Rob Geddes MW on Curly Flat Chardonnay

Here’s Rob Geddes MW talking about the 2008 & 2010 Curly Flat Chardonnay, check out or subscribe to his series of vlogs on his website:

Our 2008 Chardonnay is sold out and the 2010 Chardonnay will be released in a few months.  In meantime enjoy our current release 2009 Chardonnay, while stocks last…


Harvest begins!

Today we began harvesting our 2012 vintage.  The air is charged with not only anticipation but expectation.  As not only have we begun bringing in the fruits of our labour, we are now given a further glimpse of what our fruit will go on to be.  And we have high expectations for our 2012 wines.  What we are seeing throughout the vineyard are point pure expressions of varietal flavour and the all important structural tannin and acid, delivered via our site that is further focused through the lens of the Macedon Ranges.

The higher altitude of our site give us warmer days and cooler nights providing for slower ripening and therefore extra hang time in the vineyard.  By that we mean simply that a slow ripening of quality fruit gives time for deeper varietal characters to emerge but not at the expense of acid by sugars ripening too quickly.  In towards gaining authentic complexity, there is simply no substitute for this slower development. This is certain for Pinot Noir with it’s thin skinned delicacy, but we feel it’s equally so for our Chardonnay & Pinot Grigio.

The key word ultimately is balance and we have fine tuned the fruit load and canopy to what we feel the season will optimally ripen.  That’s been done and the rest is now up to nature as the required dedication and hard work from our end is a given. With a few weeks of picking remaining and we’d like to see a continuation these beautiful cooler, but still relatively sunny days.

But we cannot control the weather, and nor would we want to.  If we could dial in the ‘perfect’ weather, you would run the risk of destroying the essence of wine.  We are farmers and nature is the ultimate winemaker defining the individual character, regionality and varietal typicity of any and every wine.  With it’s absence excitement would leave wine for predictability. This would diminish passion and that’s something we certainly want in our wine.

Anyway for the weeks ahead we aim to keep you updated with less text but more photos as our Harvest progresses, but if you come up for cellar door you can see it for yourself!

Bird is the word

In keeping birds away from our ripening fruit in the vineyard we haven’t used any protective netting for several years.  Instead we employ a multi-faceted campaign, spearheaded by our bird deterrence system.  This works by first creating a perimeter around the vineyard created by a network of four radar towers, which both transmits and receives signals to create the boundary. As the boundary is broken by birds specifically (the system knows the difference!), a range of specific distress signals erupt in a cacophonous symphony.  Also multiple gas guns lay down some heavy aural artillery for good measure. With this more psychological approach to bird deterrence, we begin to train the birds to stay away.  But as mentioned our radar system is only the front line of our defence.  Check out our video to see & hear (sorry about the gas guns!) how this multifaceted approach enables us to see that the last grape is picked and not pecked!

To deactivate the border that is obscuring the text, just hover the mouse pointer over the video briefly and then back off again or if you can, play it in full screen mode.

Click here for the suppliers website with more specific info on B.I.R.D.S. (bird intercepting radar deterrence system, not it’s real name, but i like it!)

Testing, Testing…

As our 2012 harvest approaches we began sampling this week to see where were at with sugar levels and the all important relating balance of natural grape acids.  Within our 33 acres under vine, we have 21 separate areas of the vineyard expressed through a combination of our 7 vineyard blocks, 3 varieties (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Grigio), and a total of 10 clones.  These distinct elements will combine to be our ultimate palette for the canvas that will be our 2012 vintage, so it is important we know the status of every area.  The above images outline our sampling process undertaken by our Vineyard and Winery team.  Our ripest reading is unsurprisingly from the top of the hill, with a Baume (a scale that describes sugar via it’s density in a solution) of 10.7, and with adequate ripening weather we gain about 1 Baume a week.  At this rate we might start picking in about two weeks, but it will be staggered as our lowest reading was 7.8 Baume meaning that area will be still four to five weeks away, which is ‘normal’.

With a growing season that has seen earlier development areas across Victoria, whilst in part this true for us also with an earlier budburst, fruit set and veraison, our actual harvest isn’t on track to be the earliest pick.  The reasons for this is that we are one of Australia’s coolest viticultural sites, and our fruit ripens well into the cooling autumn, which slows things down a touch.  But that’s all part of the plan, as we want a graceful finish to the endurance event that will have lasted the vines around 7-8 months from budburst to harvest.  Slower ripening we feel, gains an extra layer of complexity that cannot found in any other way.  With combination of our Lyre Trellis system and that the fact we still have a very active canopy means that we are well placed for this preferred slower finish.  In all of this Nature as always will have the final say. We’d certainly appreciate it if heavy rain, hail, frost and birds (a video on our bird deterrence systems coming shortly) could stay away for another 6 weeks, but these things will take their natural course.  Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted as we head towards harvest!