It is late Spring 2018, the vines have just started to flower, it was a very dry winter. Spring weather has been fickle so far with recent glimpses of the Summer to come, today though we have a firm southerly change and it’s frigid outside.
I’m amazed when I look back to when we planted, it’s been almost 20 years. There have been lots of challenges along the way, in 2002 a grassfire burnt most of the young vines despite this set back they grew back then in 2006 several nasty frosts occurred.
Installation of overhead sprinklers in 2007 has been a real worth while exercise, not only as frost protection but can be used in case another grass fire was to come along. Walking through the vineyard at this time of year is something I do often I even talk to the vines
giving kind words of encouragement. We have a special section from which I have been harvesting separately and producing the Blue Label Single Barrel Shiraz, the first release is all but sold out but do not despair a new vintage is due early in the new year.
The kangaroos have been a real pest for several years now they have developed an insatiable appetite for the grapes so before too long the fencing surrounding will be increased in height.
We harvest about 3 to 4 tonnes of lovely Shiraz each year even with complete bird netting the kangaroos still eat about 1 tonne!
The 2014 Reserve Massif Shiraz is almost sold out in the next few weeks the 2016 will be prepared for bottling, the revamped Massif label looks very attractive but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the paper stock and base colour so there will be some further changes.
The line up of Shiraz at cellar door in addition to Reserve Massif also include the Clayfield Moyston ‘Ton Up’ Shiraz 2013 and 2012 Clayfield Grampians ‘Black Label’ Shiraz, Clayfield Thomas Wills Shiraz 2012 and are all elegant wines. The 2012 Black Label Grampians Shiraz is a stunner, it has been selling well and with it’s current maturation the wine has developed beautifully.
Visitors to our winery are usually greated by Ernie (Jack Russell X) now 8 years old, Ernie is now accompanied by Ruby our adorable Weimaraner, she is almost 6 years old don’t be frightened if she comes to great you she loves a pat and sits on command easily. Ernie is tennis ball crazy but please refrain from throwing the ball as it will cause his leg to become sore.
To date the weather has been favourable for the vines we didn’t experience frost so we got off to a good start we expect to harvest as normal during late March, our potential crop is looking fair so keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for another quality harvest.
Enjoy your visit to the Grampians we would surely welcome you to visit us and purchase our lovely Shiraz.
Cheers, Simon Clayfield