We’ll start harvesting tomorrow. A parcel of sauvignon blanc, new vines which we planted in 2004 on gravel and clay soils, are tasting delicious and aromatic. Sugar levels are high at just over 13% potential alcohol and the acidity has lowered over the last few week to the optimum level. It’s the taste that counts though – and one of the many things I like about sauvignon blanc is that the flavours you find in the grapes are just like those that you’ll find in the wine. Assuming you don’t cock it up, which is easy to do.
I like to pick sauvignon on the up, not at the peak of ripeness or over-ripe. Zesty, herbaceous, nettley, crisp, gooseberry, a touch of passion fruit even. Overripe and it loses its array of aromas and tastes sweet and flabby – the grape that is – and the resulting wine will be alcoholic and dull.
In the last few days we’ve been getting everything ready and the weather is ideal. Running a vineyard and a winery means that you have a huge amount of kit that’s used for just a few days in the year – especially at harvest time. Here are the stainless steel trailors we bought in 2000. They’re happy to be out in the daylight again and having a good rinse, after being tucked away for the last 10 months. p for it.