We are now into Week Four of vintage and have picked Chardonnay, Muscat (for Moscato and Sparkling Muscat Blanc) and Tinta Roriz. It’s an exciting time, and an event that culminates a year’s worth of decisions and hard work in the vineyard and winery. How much to make, yield and cropping levels, the best pruning method, which oak to buy, and what style we’re aiming for, are all questions that pop up regularly.
My first vintage as a cellar hand was last year and it started with a bang on January 25th and didn’t slow down until the end of April. The first few times we picked, it was a huge buzz, and adrenalin helped us all get through the midnight starts and long, hot days. But by the halfway mark, the romance of vintage wore off somewhat, and fatigue and autopilot kicked in. In one of the last few weeks, Andrew and Joe found me staring blankly doing laps in a fruit bin that only needed foot stomping for around 15 minutes. They paused and pondered, “Should we tell Tash she’s been in there for almost an hour?”.
In the end, it is the physical and mental challenge that makes winemaking so rewarding. During trial tastings throughout the year, my line of “oh, you can taste the expert treading in this one!” never got old. So far, there are murmurings of 2017 being one of Rutherglen's best vintages yet, with lovely warm days, mild evenings, and excellent acid and flavour development. Last year was also a standout but everything ripened at once which led to the madness and mayhem I've mentioned before. This year, we may find things go at a much more steady pace. A welcome change indeed! Keep up to date with the Winemakers of Rutherglen Vintage Diary here.
We know many of you are eager to taste the 2016 reds so see below for our planned release times. If you are visiting the North East in autumn, perhaps for Tastes of Rutherglen or Easter, please stop by and we can show you what’s bubbling away out the back (and maybe plunge a vat or two for us!).
Fingers crossed for another stellar vintage.
Cheers, Natasha Killeen.
Special Offers and New Releases
We have some great specials this quarter with our Classic Topaque featuring in a wonderfully discounted 6 pack. For descriptions and prices, click here.
Have you been wondering when we would release our 2016 reds? Labels have arrived and the bottling dates are set so there is plenty to look forward to this year.
- Members on our Jack’s Block Shiraz allocation list will be notified early before a national release in June.
- Our winter packs will feature the new 2016 Jack's Block Shiraz, Reserve Durif and Moodemere Shiraz.
- A special August release of The Prince Reserva will be followed by the Shiraz Durif, Rosé and Chardonnay in September
- Sparkling Shiraz and Sparkling Tempranillo will be back for the summer packs, just in time for Christmas celebrations.
News & Events
- Tastes of Rutherglen will be held on the 11th and 12th of March, 2017. Bring the whole family for a great weekend of gourmet food, great wine and entertainment. Read more...
- Save the date for Saturday the 25th of March, 2017 as we'll be the Wagga Wagga Food & Wine Festival again for another great day. Read more.
- Easter (April 14th-17th) is a fantastic time to visit Rutherglen. We are open every day (including Good Friday) and will have back vintage wines on tasting. BYO picnic to enjoy in our lush surrounds or book a Seasonal Food Foray.
- Winery Walkabout on the 10th and 11th of June is set to be another sell-out. If you plan on booking a bus in at S&K, please contact us to ensure you don't miss out as places are limited.
Download our Autumn Quinta Quarterly with our price list and order form. If you are Quinta Club member, please contact us by Monday the 15th of March to make any changes to your pack as they will be posted the following week. All orders made at the same time of the Quinta Pack will be posted freight free.