What’s Happening in the Vineyard

Published on 31 May 2018

At Stonewell Cottages and Vineyards, vintage began already a couple of weeks ago with Evan harvesting 14 tonne of Grenache for Turkey Flat’s Rose. We are now in full swing, last week was a big week, with hand picking of the old vine Shiraz block on Mattiske Road done on Wednesday for Chateau Tanunda. The harvester has been operating around the clock, another couple of blocks of Shiraz came off during the week, for Barossa Valley Estate, Torbreck and Soul Growers, the block of Tempranillo which is directly behind the Hideaway Cottage came off Friday morning. More Shiraz will come off this week for Langmeil Winery as well as some handpicking of Shiraz for Barossa Valley Estate. With much of the machine harvesting done during the cool of night, Evan used to think that this lack of sleep during vintage was hard, but he reckons he has been “re-calibrated” now that he has a 4 year old and an 8 month old baby at home, where a whole night’s sleep is a distant memory!

Several of our guests have been lucky enough to come out with Evan, ride on the harvester and see it all in action. If you are staying with us before the end of this month, please let us know if you are interested in coming out to the vineyard. We are scheduled to handpick our old vine Grenache next to Cupid’s Cottage next Thursday just before Easter, so we will happily give you a bucket and snips to help!! If you are really lucky, you might even get to take a ride in Evan’s “tough” 1974 Kenworth for one of the deliveries to the local wineries!

After a burst of hot weather the temperatures are now in the mid 20’s to early 30’s, perfect ripening weather. 2018 is shaping up to be a good vintage, great colour and flavour. Vintage is the busiest time of the year for us, and it’s when we finally get to reap the reward of a years work, day in day out, of tending the vines to bare their best quality. As long as the grapes hang out there, they are subjected to the many variables that the climate can throw up, so it is a relief and cause for celebration to get the grapes off and safely into the winery. Seeing their beautiful rich purple colour in the crusher always puts a smile on Evan’s face!