Oatley Harvest September 18th
I realise this is coming to you rather late, but what with family weddings in Ireland and the Wine Tastings Co’s first birthday, not to mention my inability to type fast! I am now letting you know about the rather lovely yet wet day at the Oatley harvest.
Arriving with waterproofs at the ready we were all ready to pick grapes. Richard came along with his wife Georgie, a friend Rosalynne who has a keen interest in wine and of course Matthew!
The grapes ready for picking were the early ripening Madeline Angevine. Iain talked us through the picking of this years grapes as it wasn’t as straight forward as it had been the year before. The frost we had earlier in the year caused the lower vines on the slope to lose there buds which meant the new buds were then a couple of weeks behind. Iain explained the bunches to leave on the vines and if we were unsure we could do the taste test! Another factor that helped us chose was that if those pesky wasps were interested then the grapes were ready to pick. On this day wasps had there uses!
The rain came down but that didn’t dampen spirits as its always good fun chatting amongst the vines, funny thing is your never sure who your chatting with until you reach the end of the row!
Jane was inside supervising the food preparations and what a mighty fine feast it was. Due to weather conditions we all squeezed inside around the table which was fantastic!
On Monday I met Iain at the winery where the grapes are to be turned in to wine! A magical process and not a bare foot insight to crush the grapes. Steve is the wine maker and Iain has been bringing his grapes here for many years so a good relationship has been formed which is so important.
The smell of the freshly crushed grapes is beginning to become familiar and took me back to my harvest in Bordeaux, happy memories. The levels of acidity in the grapes were perfect, the pickers had done a good job!