WINTER 2018 – LETTER FROM VS&B
Another harvest has drawn to a close. It blows our mind that it's already our fifth vintage.
This year we've harvested our second crop of Thorley Shiraz - two barriques this year instead of one - and coaxed the first 300 kilograms of Chardonnay from Thorley also, which has made a single barrique. These small volumes feel something like the accoutrements of legitimacy. We might just be actual live vignerons after all.
We'll start pruning in a few weeks and the Chardonnay, which has struggled so much since planting, looks almost healthy with warm ruddy brown canes of a good thickness with healthy buds. The trunks on our Shiraz are thickening slowly and cane length is getting longer, and almost all of the Riesling, and definitely all of the Nebbiolo will be up to or on the wire once we cut off everything spindly and unnecessary. Whether or not these slowpokes will have fruit for us in 2019 is a secret held within their buds. I could slice the tops off them with a scalpel and look for bunch primordia with an eyeglass, but it kills each bud you look at, so we content ourselves with mystery instead.
2018 has been warmer, drier, earlier and the wines look at this stage a little more plump and dense. We'll know more after we bottle the 2018 Prêt-à-Rosé and 2018 Prêt-à-Blanc in a month.
Tess & Jeremy