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The Dawn Patrol at attention

The Dawn Patrol at attention

The team arrived in the vineyard for the first grapes of the inaugural vintage for Le Grappin. We started at 6am — little did we know that we would still be working 25 hours later. Ahh, the naïveté!

Beautiful Pinot!

Beautiful Pinot!

All our hard work doing a vendages pourri left us with lovely grapes with phenolic ripeness and fresh fruit flavours. On attaque!

L'equipe Knox

L'equipe Knox

Paris and Brian Knox, two mates from the US, harvest the vines. We left all the most beautiful, old vines which were harvested separately and added as whole cluster — about 10% of total.

Mates working hard

Mates working hard

Taken at 3am we were still hard at work making sure only the best berries made it into the vat. I was very lucky to have such a great group of friends who were very happy to help after so many hours without a break. Hopefully my winemaking will make all their efforts worthwhile.

Fruit on the handmade sorting table

Fruit on the handmade sorting table

Grapes look very healthy despite great disease pressure this year. A little on the big size compared to 2010 but I was pretty happy with the quality of what made it into the cuverie. Thanks again to Brian Knox for his amazing bricolage skills in making the sorting table on short notice. Mad props!

Destemming at 5am

Destemming at 5am

Once all the grapes were sorted it was time to fire up the egrappoir. I decided to destem 90% of the fruit, a little more than I would like in a perfect world but we couldn't find anymore of the most lovely clusters to chuck in whole. The 10% whole cluster was laid in the middle and again at the top of the cuve to best promote whole berry fermentation and deliver the lovely feminine qualities. Three of us were at attention on the elevateur as well to pick out any jacks (stems that made it through the detemmer).

The team at 7am

The team at 7am

All the fruit was finally in the cuve at 7am, layered with dry ice to take the must down to 14ºC for a cold maceration which in a year like this is essential (in my most humble of opinions). Despite 25 hours on the trot, everyone managed to maintain grace — a great ambience for the first vintage of Le Grappin. Thanks guys!

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One Response to Vendages Slideshow

  1. lee nielsen says:

    what great photos and what a journey. WELL DONE! You should b v proud!!

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