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Fri, 01 Jul 2011

Picking the 2010 Waite Shiraz

Picking grapes

I helped out with picking the Shiraz (aka Syrah) allocated to my group from the Coombe vineyard on the Waite Campus today. We started picking at about 6:30, and I carried on until 10:00 when I had a lecture I had to attend. Others carried on until all our three and a half rows were picked, and we had around a tonne of fruit.

The fun part of this for me getting up at 5 am. It's something I can do if I have to, but I certainly don't enjoy it. It was worth it, though, once I got out into the vineyard.

Vitis vinifera 'Shiraz' vine

South Australia has experienced a really hot year this year -- again -- and this was particularly evident from seeing how some of the grapes were shrivelled on the vine. Here is the worst example I found:

Sunburnt grapes

... but that was the exception rather than the rule. More common were bunches where a percentage were burnt, and the rest were fine:

Bunch of Shiraz grapes

As the burnt grapes will be removed by the crusher-destemmer, we were told it was fine to include them with the picked grapes.

Grapevines   Grapes in bin

Also, we can haz tractor! Luckily for everybody, I wasn't allowed to drive it ;-)


Next week sometime, we'll pick the Mataró. I've got so many classes next week, I'm not certain I'll manage to do much towards that, which is a shame. I'm not the fastest picker by a long way, so I doubt it'll make much difference to how quickly the grapes are picked, but (in short stretches) it's an interesting thing to try.

Next challenge: actually making this into wine.

posted at: 01:50 | path: /wine/oenology_diploma | permanent link to this entry

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