Vintage 2012 – Harvest completed!

Now that all grapes are picked and are in the winery, we can really say that we have brought in harvest of not only significant quantity but more importantly significant quality.

Congratulations to the Curly Flat Vineyard team for bringing in another wonderful harvest that will soon be captured in barrel and then ultimately in bottle a year or two from now!

But by no means is our vintage over.  We still have to see all of our ferments home in the winery, as all of our Chardonnay is still in some stage of fermentation, whilst our Pinot Noir ferments are finishing gracefully are now being pressed and married to oak.

Then with our warm room we will guide most, if not all of our wines through Malolactic fermentation.  All Pinot Noir will go through this process, but not always the Chardonnay as the nature of the vintage can dictate the percentage we allow to go through and what we do not.  We’ll make these decisions very soon.

But enough talk and now we’ll let the pictures below speak their obligatory thousand words.  Thanks again for reading and for your interest in Curly Flat as we hone our pursuit for world class wines.  Happy drinking (or cellaring)!

Vintage 2012 Update & Snapshots

How time flies! Just 2 and half weeks ago we started picking and a lot has happened since then.

Beautiful ripening weather continued from the first pick on 27th of March, seeing the Pinot home with our last pick on April 11, bringing our total of Pinot Noir to almost 70 ton.  While although all ferments are still going (all wild yeast) and are yet to be pressed and put to barrel, we already see the rudimentary nature of the wine emerging.  With a generous core of great colour and structure, ripe plum, both dark and red fruits are apparent.  We look forward to seeing more of its character develop over the next 1 to 2 years as it softens and complexs to reveal further subtleties.  But like all good things, we’ll just have to wait!

All of our Pinot Gris has been picked which is looking fleshy, textured and in alignment with zesty acid.  The Gris is still currently undergoing wild fermentation in a combination of both tank and neutral oak ferments.  We don’t mean to call it a Gris as the jury is still out on whether it will be a Gris or a Grigio, again time will tell post ferment.

We now turn to picking the remainder of the Chardonnay which is looking extremely balanced with ripe fruit character and good acid tension.  Again we have very high expectations of the it’s quality.  With already two batches currently finishing primary ferment, we are looking forward to seeing more Chardonnay bubbling away in the winery.  The sounds and not only the scents of a Chardonnay barrel ferment are truly one of the hallmarks of vintage.  We should have all the Chardonnay in the shed by Tuesday – Wednesday next week, which will see us complete all picking for 2012.

Again sorry for the delay in the vintage update, but now that we’ve got you roughly up to speed, below are a collection of photos from Vintage 2012 so far. There will be more shots posted soon including more of the vineyard and then back to the winery as we guide our vintage to a graceful finish, hopefully much like the wine itself!


More photos to come!  And feel free to come up to our Cellar Door and see it all first hand!

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!)