The grenache berries in this photo belong to some of the bush vines on the Yangarra estate in the northern end of the McLaren Vale region. My friend Peter and I joined a group of about 30 to be a part of the inaugural “grenache wine makers club” last Sunday.
In the early hours, we assembled for coffee then headed out to the vines where, after a little instruction, we were given a pair of snippers and a bucket to harvest the bunches.
As we worked down the rows, we were both struck by the clarity of mind brought by concentrating on little else than where the fingers of the non-snipping hand were! Incredibly relaxing – the majority of the brain function was at rest!
Half way along, we paused for a muffin before heading back up the next rows to complete our picking duties for the day. A short Q&A session followed whilst we sampled the result of earlier grenache pickings. Then, the bins loaded with the fruits of our labour, quite literally, it was back to the winery to watch the de-stemming and sorting.
Oh, and a bite to eat and a few more samples of previous years’ fermentations!
After a little more to eat, it was time to take off the shoes and socks, rinse the feet and get down to the crush (yes, that’s my foot). Still reckon our bin came up with the best juice yield, but it matters little, I’m sure. The crush will be processed through the winery’s biodynamic, certified organic processes and we’ll be updated from time to time on the progress of the wine.
Probably about this time next year it will be bottled and we’ll get the chance to sample and secure our own bottle with our names on the label.
It’s a great idea and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend! I’m looking forward to next year’s event. Oh, and the vintage day at the winery on 13 April – Burger Theory will be there with music and, not surprisingly, lovely Yangarra wines.