As the dust settles and the nets are put away, we can finally breathe deeply, rest, and reflect on our vintage. While it started slowly, the heat pushed everything along, and timing became critical. As the tractors rolled in with each parcel of grapes, the pace picked up until frenetic was the only way forward. We have a small window each year to do justice to each of our 29 different blocks, to all the time and effort that has gone into our vineyards. The work that has been done not just over the past season, but overall the years of nurturing the vines. As each parcel arrives, is processed, checked and assessed, our focus becomes critical. The mental list at 4.30 am of everything required to keep the wines healthy, every ferment, every barrel and every tank requiring attention. And the tractors keep coming. The mental and physical effort of all involved, the patience through early starts and late finishes, slogging away in the heat, trying to find that bloody hose fitting, of putting life and family aside for a time to ensure the absolute best as our grapes are transformed into wine. For us, these are living, breathing creatures, temperamental and demanding until they’re safely bedded down in the barrel. It is worth it, we have a winery full of lovely wines, the Chardonnays look excellent, while the Pinot Noirs have lovely perfume and balance. It is early days, but we know that nothing was missed, no grapes were left behind.