As I sit here in our member’s Dining Room at St Maur, enjoying a quiet wine, I am thinking back at what an incredible few weeks it’s been for us all at St Maur Vineyard.
On Monday, the 16th April starting in the early morning, we harvested our Pinot Noir grapes for what will become the Lot 41 2018 vintage. The St Maur team worked together, taking great care hand-picking our precious berries from our vines. By the day’s end, we harvested about seven tonnes of premium quality Pinot Noir grapes that will make our signature wine for the 2018 vintage.
With the weather patterns of the last months, we decided to hold off and harvest late, to give our grapes sufficient ripening time to achieve the desired balance between flavour and the structural components of the grapes. When we picked the Pinot Noir, sugar level of the grapes was as high at 14% Baumé – a promising number.
There wasn’t much time for rest, as our wine-maker and I were busy crushing the berries on Tuesday. The Pinot Noir crush has rested in open fermenters for the last week and will continue to rest for the week. This rest allows the yeast to consume the natural sugars from the grapes and achieve the anticipated alcohol levels in the wine. During this time, we’re controlling the temperatures to around 24 ̊C, keeping it consistent with the yeast growth. We also moisten the caps to get the optimum colour extraction from the skins and giving our Pinot Noir its vibrant colour.
From the quality of the berries we observed at harvest, the Baumé reading and how fermentation is progressing, I think that the 2018 Lot 41 Pinot Noir promises to be a spectacular vintage, both in the boutique quality of the wine and also in the quantity produced. I will keep you posted as we get closer to bottling and trust that we will deliver an outstanding Pinot Noir not only in how well it drinks but the quantity produced.That’s promising for all our members.
This past week we have hand-picked our Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot berries and began their winemaking process. I look forward to updating with you the progress of St Maur 2018 Vintage wines and sharing a glass with you. Better get back to work now.
This post was written by St Maur Wines