We are now nearing the completion of a very busy and successful 2018 harvest here at Denbies Wine Estate. A section of our Pinot Noir grapes destined for our premium sparkling wines were hand-picked last week, with the remaining Pinot Noir berries being harvested today. In addition, we are currently machine-harvesting Seyval Blanc in the Park area of the vineyard, which will be blended along with Reichensteiner for our Classic Collection Flint Valley white.
Due to the unusually beautiful summer weather experienced this year, we are scheduled to finish the bulk of harvest this Friday 12th October, with hand-picking of our Pinot Gris grapes for our Vineyard Select still white. We expect to harvest over 400 tonnes of grapes and produce just over 500,000 bottle in total of still and sparkling wines, certainly one of Denbies’ largest ever harvests.
We are quietly optimistic about a small parcel of Ortega which we are hopeful will produce botrytis-affected berries for a delicious, honeyed dessert wine. These grapes will be left on the vine as late as possible, in order to concentrate sugars and flavours, before gentle hand-picking later this month. The hand-picking enables us to keep berry skins intact and gentle pressing gives the best quality free-run juice for fermentation. The juice will be partly fermented in oak and partly in stainless steel, to enrich the wine and add complexity.
As ever, the winery is busy with wine-production and disgorging of our sparkling wines. This month has seen the release of our Pipp Brook NV sparkling wine, a traditional blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. With bottle-fermentation and ageing on the lees, the wine has delicate bubbles and ripe apple flavours.
Pictured – the magnificent Pinot Noir