Our grape harvest is in and – well it was dismal.  The super new spray unit and tractor kept the disease away but the yield!  Last year we picked just under 500 kg of Chardonnay – this year 300 kg.  Pinot Noir, last year 450 kg – this year 140 kg.  I’d heard from several people that everybody on the Peninsula had suffered the same fate thanks to a cold, wet December at fruit set time.  The wines will be pretty good – there just won’t be that much to go around.  We put the Pinot Noir through the crusher destemmer and then stood around the 500 litre fermenter looking down at a sad, lonely pile of grape pulp way down there in the bottom of the tank.

There was only one thing to do – have lunch.  Mussels cooked and smoked under pine needles on a piece of galvo – quite delicious.  Ooodles of pancetta, prosciutto and capocollo, followed by a huge loin of pork.  Wines from Phaedrus, Stumpy Gully and Bluestone Lane – and our own cellar.

After that we made the decision to throw everything in a bucket and let it be what it will be.  So we pressed out the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir together, and will create some form of Rose – wild yeast ferment.  The grape juice tasted delicious.  Who knows what the wine will be like, but I’m going to dig out my sparkling wine recipe.  Should be a lot of fun – something special from a pretty ordinary year.

The weekend before, when I was hunting around for local wines for the lunch, left me with a really good feeling about the people I met on the cellar doors.  Maïtèna at Phaedrus, Jason at Stumpy Gully and John at Bluestone were all excellent – knowledgeable about the wines, generous with the tasting and with a deal for cellar door visitors.