Denbies Harvest Report 2014
The 2014 harvest is over! The winery handled a touch over 563 tonnes of grapes overall making it the largest harvest on record. With a mild frost free spring, a glorious summer and Autumn the grapes were not only plentiful but of a very high quality.
Every single tank in the winery is occupied with wine, juice or fermenting must. The cellar team, headed up by the irrepressible Mathieu Elzinga worked incredibly long hours from the very first grapes on the 24th September until the last bunch arrived on November 3rd.
The crucial next task now is to make the blends, maintain and where possible improve on our styles. This year we are spoiled for choice with excellent Muller Thurgau, Reichensteiner, and Seyval Blanc for the Surrey Gold and Flint Valley wines and great Bacchus and Ortega for Juniper Hill . It was also possible this year to achieve good volumes of Rondo, Regent and Pinot Noir that will be blended into Redlands and a varietal Pinot Noir red wine. Then of course there are our sparkling wines of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, where maintaining styles by careful blending or “assemblage” is frustrating, complex and fun all rolled into one.
Finally the prize of a great season. Noble Harvest! We are happy to announce that for the first time since 2011 we have been able to make this sweet luscious nectar that is the made from the honey like juice pressed from grapes that are infected with the Noble rot Botrytis Cinerea. Release date should be in the middle of next year!
Its been a challenging year just handling this amount of grapes, juice and wine. At this stage when all that work is in the glass one reflects on what a great industry this is and how the uniqueness, excitement and diversity of each harvest makes wine so fascinating.