After a long and mostly beautiful autumn the vineyard has finally taken on the stark, bare appearance of winter. We had a pretty decent frost a couple of days ago so the agaves are now suffering, but apart from this frosts are good as they help induce full dormancy in the vines and reduce the spore count of the various fungal diseases which like to attack vines in warmer seasons. It is best to leave winter pruning until as late as possible in the season, as this helps ensure an even budburst in the spring, so pruning won’t start for a few weeks yet.
We have prepared the 2016 Vin Gris for bottling, which will happen this week. So those of you who have been lamenting the fact that we sold out of the 2015 back in April will be able to order its replacement probably by the end of July. We’ll let you know when we release it.
Our local association, Matakana Winegrowers Inc are having one of our twice yearly workshops this week, where producers bring along tank and barrel samples of their new vintage wines to be blind tasted and critiqued prior to getting the wines ready for bottling later in the year. We have found these workshops very valuable for our winemaking process, because in addition to the possibility of picking up wine faults which can be rectified, they also help us all to avoid “cellar palate” – the tendency to get accustomed to the characteristics of your own wines and lose your objectivity in evaluating them. We bring in expert palates from outside the region to help in this process.
Robin,Marion,Gabe and the team in Ransom Wines