The earliest harvest in Denbies Wine Estate 31 years commenced yesterday (Wednesday 6 September), historically, a early harvest commences during the third week of September. On a mild sunny autumnal morning the Denbies vineyard team picked approximately 3 tons of the early ripening Solaris. This was an unexpected outcome from a vintage that started with the widely talked about late frost followed by the exceptionally fine June.
‘We have never started harvest this early, and even for an early ripener such as this grape, the volume, sugar content and quality is quite outstanding,’ commented Christopher White, Denbies CEO, who has been anxiously monitoring the vineyard throughout the summer. Early concerns at the beginning of the season have proven to be unfounded. Although volumes will be slightly lower than the last few years, early indications suggest that the quality looks to be very good.
Following the late frost however, Chris White did make the decision to plant 30,000 vines, a combination of pinot noir and chardonnay, on the Denbies hillside. This particular area of the vineyard benefits from optimum conditions, south facing slopes with a temperate micro climate throughout the year. This area of the vineyard is very unlikely to be affected by frost.
The 2017 harvest will continue on Monday with the picking of the rondo, another early ripening varietal which in 2010 produced the exceptional gold award winning Chalk Ridge Rose, labelled the ‘best rose in the world’.