Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Grape Sorting

This week, the sixth week of vintage, we have been receiving high quality Chardonnay grapes from Pemberton. This region is increasingly being acknowledged as one of the up and coming regions of Australia for cool climate chardonnay.  It is southeast of the famous Margaret River region and is also known as the wettest wine region in Western Australia.

The received high quality grapes are sorted by hand late in the night whilst it is cool.  Last night I had the opportunity to assist with the sorting, which I found to be very enjoyable, even though there is not really much to it once you know what you are looking for.

Basically, you just look out for any bad grapes and put them to the side.  Grapes can be unacceptable if they look mouldy or powdery (likely to be downy mildew) and also if they show any signs of rotting, such as black shrivel.  Some grapes are also very hard and bright green, which indicates very high acidity (from experience, this tastes like eating a handful of warheads all at once) and these are also discarded.

There were also a few bugs and the like that we needed to remove but I was glad there weren't any mice or cockroaches (I had been warned there might be a few nice surprises by the experienced cellarhands).