08/03/2005 - 21:00

Wine News - vintage in the Great Southern

08/03/2005 - 21:00

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When Gusto asked chief winemaker at Barwick Estate Nigel Ludlow how vintage was going, he admitted: “It’s all about timing”.

Wine News - vintage in the Great Southern

When Gusto asked chief winemaker at Barwick Estate Nigel Ludlow how vintage was going, he admitted: “It’s all about timing”.

In the crucial days before picking begins in earnest, Mr Ludlow is concentrating on testing samplings taken from Barwick’s 38-hectare property in Margaret River, as well as its vineyards in Blackwood Valley and Pemberton.

Mr Ludlow says it is a “massive logistical task to trawl through early samples analysing Baumé levels for sugar concentrations and pH levels in the grapes.

“Doing this is an effort in balancing colour and flavour together” Mr Ludlow says, adding that “everyone’s got their own ideas on the right levels and they’re all different”.

Already Mr Ludlow notes that the sauvignon blanc looks “very interesting”. “It’s coming along nicely,” he says, explaining that the berries have peaked a lot greener than their chardonnay and cabernet counterparts.

“It’s got good flavours in it. Sauvignon blanc tends to go through a passionfruit to gunpowder range – that is where we like to keep it”.

Mr Ludlow is already predicting that total yields will be down on the 2004 vintage.

Lower-than-expected rainfall, particularly in Pemberton and surrounding areas, has led to smaller berry size.

Smaller berries, however, mean higher concentrations of fruit flavours and suggest that pinot noir and most white varieties from the area will be very intense.

As workers at Barwick and other wineries begin the routine of 12-hour shifts for the next three months, Mr Ludlow admits that while every year is different, he waits for the adrenaline to kick in.

“It’s really fun once you get into it”, he says.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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