Becoming somewhat of a tradition during vintage, our Winery Operations Manager, Ian Diver, delights the Campbells team each week with updates from the front ‘vine’ – detailing the ins and outs of harvest and the beginning stages of what will be our milestone 2020 wines. Ian has been with us for over 13 years now!
Today, we thought we’d give you all a glimpse behind the looking glass and share some snippets from his Vintage diary so that you too can get as excited as we are!
Photos by Kate Hanton.
March 20th, 2020
“This morning harvesting continued, taking the Lagrein grapes from the Silverburn Red Varieties block for the new Rosé.
Then, it was over to the youngest Tempranillo block. We tasted yesterday and these seemed a perfect fit to add to the Rosé.
When we got the grapes in, minimal handling for reduced skin contact. These will be added to yesterday’s Grahams Rosé blend, clarified, and the ferment initiated this afternoon.”
March 31st, 2020
“We had to start a bit later this morning with a fog and heavy dew over the vineyards. It was 10am before Charl followed the picker into Silverburn to take off the Merlot for Amélie.
We followed on with the youngest vines in Silverburn, Tempranillo planted in 2017. We then took in three Durif blocks, destined for the Rutherglen Durif.
All have been crushed, adjusted, mixed over and seeded with an appropriate yeast.
Thanks to Fred, Scott and Darren on the harvester, Charl & Brian on tractor duty, and Matt, Souwee, Angus and Dave in the winery.
A big day, and we’re still going now!”
April 1st, 2020
“Beautiful day, but that’s about to change. Fred’s on the picker with one eye over his shoulder as he tries to keep ahead of the rain coming in from the west.
Today we started with the last of the Tempranillo from the old Tempranillo vines in Silverburn.
Then moving over into BB4 vineyard for some young Shiraz. This will add some vibrant juicy plums to the ultimate Bobbie Burns blend.
We’re now into the BB2 block Shiraz, typically some of our best fruit and this year it will add depth and complexity to the Bobbie Burns Shiraz.
The last block of the day will be the young Malbec vines in Silverburn. Ultimately this will add vibrancy to the older Malbec – Just for you Robin!
Once the rain passes, we’ll sample again late next week to determine the final picking order.”
April 9th, 2020
“Last week’s rain is a distant memory now as we got back on the paddock to pick some more grapes today.
We started over at Grahams vineyard picking the best rows for the next Sixties block. We brought in a field blend of Carignan, Tinta Amarella, Tinta Cao Ruby, Cab, Cab Sauv, Souzou, Durif, Caracosa, Ruby Red and Royalty.”
This will all be blended later with the best of the Silverburn Red Varieties block.
Then we came over to take in the conventional Malbec in Silverburn. This will give us the core of the next Malbec, together with some of the young Malbec from last week, to give volume and vibrancy.
In the winery we have been busy pressing all the other ferments off skins, so that we can strip down the press screens to clean and get ready for Trebbiano next week. The crop this year looks as if it will make a riper Sparkling White, and offer even more flavoursome bubbles than this year’s.”
April 17th, 2020
“Beaut Autumn weather today, and a big day picking the last fruit to come into the winery.
Starting with Silverburn Cab Sauv and almost 10 tonnes of fruit in great condition. These old vines are still delivering great quality and Cab Sauv stands up to the recent rain well, loving the warm days. No wonder Cabernet is one of the Noble varieties!
Charl did his bit on the tractor again, together with Brian. Scott driving the harvester at a steady 2 km/h all day – takes a lot of concentration!
Then through the Ruby Cabernet, which had a great yield. It’s as tough as old boots.
And now we’re finishing off at Grahams with the Cabernet Sauvignon there.
Beer’s at knock off!”