Cutler & Co. return to Curly Flat

Cutler & Co. return to Curly Flat
Date: 12pm Sunday 17th July, 2016
Location: Curly Flat Vineyard

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SEATS STILL AVAILABLE!

Cutler & Co. will be returning to Curly Flat for a degustation lunch on Sunday 17th July. The partnership of our wines, current and older vintages, with Cutler & Co’s relaxed, yet sophisticated approach to food, have made for many memorable lunches at Curly Flat since 2007. The menu will be posted on our website.

Public transport options are available. Please direct all enquiries to our office on the details below.

The all-inclusive price is $185 / person. These lunches sell out quickly! Book 03 5429 1956  or send by email to mail@curlyflat.com

Cutler & Co. come to Curly Flat Degustation Menu – July 17th

On Arrival

2013 Curly Flat Lacuna Chardonnay or 2015 Curly Flat White Pinot

—Ortiz anchovy on toast Radishes with whipped cod roe Parmesan cracker, fromage blanc
2011 Curly Flat Pinot Gris
2015 Curly Flat Pinot Gris

Grilled calamari, leeks & romesco House made ricotta, romanesco broccoli & pistachio
2010 Curly Flat Chardonnay
2014 Curly Flat Chardonnay

— Smoked duck salad, beetroot and radicchio Spiced roasted pumpkin, comte & salt bush
2011 Curly Flat ‘The Curly’ Pinot Noir
2008 Curly Flat Pinot Noir

Slow roasted lamb shoulder Black barley salad Baby cos and English cream
2013 Curly Flat Pinot Noir
2010 Curly Flat Pinot Noir

— Chocolate & Mandarin
Macedon NV Sparkling
or
2009 Curly Flat Pinot Noir

A new year begins…

As the new year begins, the path leading to our 2015 harvest has now entered its eighth month.  Each vintage starts from the commencement of pruning, as this is where the template for the harvest is (literally) laid down.  Since the completion of pruning, budburst began on the 11th of September, which is later than last year but this is historically speaking still earlier than say 10 years ago.  That said, it has been a case of so far, so good with the growing cycle in vineyard as we have successfully navigated the inherent frost risks of the cool climate of the Macedon Ranges, along with maintaining adequate moisture to the vines at key points throughout the below average rainfall we have/haven’t received going way back to last August.  The weather itself has been fairly moderate, with only a few days reaching above 35 degrees (so far).  This relatively balanced weather, along with robust vine & soil health contributed to a successful flowering period throughout the vineyard which has resulted in good yields along with healthy looking bunches.  But it’s early days as harvest is at least 14 weeks away, and January & February is being predicted to particularly hot by our good friends at the Bureau of Meteorology, so as they say, it’s not over till it’s over!   Meanwhile for a different perspective of Curly Flat, below are some aerial photos taken of the vineyard back at the start of December 2014, along with a photo denoting the successful flowering. Next step for us now in the vineyard is to do a population sample of the bunches which allows us to gather an approximate tonnage for harvest in a few months time.  We’ll keep you update on how this vintage unfolds, but by all means come and visit us and talk to us first hand, along with a wine tasting of some Curly Flat to help celebrate the new year that lays ahead!

Curly Flat Vineyard from a distance.  This photograph was taken facing to the South-east looking upon the pastoral landscapes, of Lancefield, Romsey and onward.

Curly Flat Vineyard from a distance.  This photograph was taken facing to the South-east, looking upon the pastoral landscapes, of Lancefield, Romsey and onward.

Curly Flat Vineyard, a closer inspection.  The dark green areas of the vineyard denote where there is frost protection via overhead sprinklers.

Curly Flat Vineyard, a closer inspection. The dark green areas of the vineyard denote where there is frost protection via overhead sprinklers. For more on our frost protection click here.

Successful Fruitset

Just an example of the good fruit set in the vineyard. Pictured are bunches of Mariafeld Clone Pinot Noir, which is classically a looser bunch than the classic tight knitted ‘pine cone’ shape normally associated with Pinot Noir.

 

Exciting times and an anxious wait….

This week has seen the first of our picking for Vintage 2014.  It has started off small, firstly a parcel of Chardonnay picked on Tuesday and then yesterday the first of our Pinot Noir. It has been a difficult year for all growers, some more than others.  After months of no real rainfall to speak of, we have now had approximately 19 mm over the last 24 hours, with an uncertain forecast for the coming week – we are ready and waiting!  Below are some images from the first Pinot pick.

early morning mist

Heavy fog rolled in…

drying grapes

Waiting for the fruit to dry…

tipping

Tipping into the destemmer

in tank

Safely in tank ready for ferment 🙂

Budburst! Vintage 2014 is underway…

Although 1st of September marks the start of spring (in Australia), this date is a simplification as true spring starts with the arrival of the spring equinox on the 23rd of September.  This is when the plane of the Earth’s poles are the same distance from the Sun. The amount of daylight is roughly equal to its absence, heralding the true exit of winter as the daylight hours increase from there on.  In the cool climate of the Macedon Ranges, classically budburst begins occurs from anywhere from late September to early-mid October, roughly following the spring equinox. But this year budburst has followed the calendar with almost bullet precision, occurring on the 3rd of September.

Budburst underway on our 96 block Chardonnay

Budburst underway on our 96 block Chardonnay and a close up of a bud (inset)

So this year (or vintage) is already different from any other as we have now had our earliest budburst, 10 days earlier than any other on record.  The dates below relate to the past 5 vintages plus this current year:

  • 2008 – 19th September (Vintage 2009)
  • 2009 – 29th September (Vintage 2010)
  • 2010 – 11th October (Vintage 2011)
  • 2011 – 13th September (Vintage 2012)
  • 2012 – 19th September (Vintage 2013)
  • 2013 – 3rd September (Vintage 2014)

It is worth noting that an early budburst doesn’t necessarily mean it will be an early vintage, far from it.  Our warmest winter was in 2001 (average of 10°C) but it led to our coldest growing season which culminated with the 2002 vintage.  The next warmest winter was that of 2005 (average of 9.9°C) which did lead to warm growing conditions, and the resulting 2006 vintage is one of our most celebrated.  This winter was the third warmest for us (average of 9.8°C) and with the above in mind, the passage of weather can be cold, hot and everything in between, all of which effects the ultimate harvest date.  The best indicator of harvest date though is flowering & fruit set.   If that is early, then harvest will most probably be early too and vice versa if it is late. We’ll keep you posted on that.

From there the longer term forecast (from the BOM) is for moderate to above average warmth and above average rainfall.  With the weather still not committing to being in a La Nina/El Nino pattern, but rather remaining in a neutral state, this can lead to wetter than ‘normal’ conditions, but not as prolific as it would be if it were in La Nina pattern.  So as always we wait and see what the year delivers and of course we look forward to hopefully putting it into bottle.  

Shortest day turns out to be the coldest! (so far)

We’ve had some good frosts this week at Curly Flat culminating in the hardest this morning where it got down to -5, poetically coinciding with the winter solstice.  Here are some photos from around the vineyard this morning that highlight we’re one of the coolest viticultural regions in Australia.

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Curly Flat’s Vintage Hall (our cellar door) sees the ‘cold’ light of day

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Frost hairs on the lyre trellis

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um, that’s cold!

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Frozen spider webbing

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Watch your step!

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Lyre, Lyre, certainly not on fire!

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Formerly known as grass

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