Yesterday, Wednesday 9 March 2016 was the first day of 'Harvest 2016' at Amisfield Estate, Central Otago, New Zealand.
Harvest time in the vineyard is the business end of the year. Mornings start early. Just on dawn, teams of pickers arrive and move down the rows of vines under the nets. At Amisfield, almost all the fruit is picked by hand. The pickers are looking only for the best grapes, the ripest fruit. They cut off and discard the 'shoulders' - the smaller bunches on a bunch of grapes - which taste less intense and receive fewer nutrients than the main bunch and therefore have less flavour. Damaged fruit is discarded. Good wine starts in the ground, but picking is just as important.
Follow the progress of our 'Harvest 2016' as we begin the massive task of harvesting our Estate at Pisa. Picking will take place until the end of April as different parcels ripen at different times, and sometimes two picks are required to make sure that the fruit is at its ripest. By the time they're finished, the team has picked the vineyards dry and then the focus shifts inside for a bit, while the grapes are being turned into wine.
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Day 1 - our vineyard crew hand picking pinot noir and chardonnay grapes for our bubbly base!
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|The 2016 Vineyard crew|
|Chopper driving one of our little grey Ferguson tractors delivering our first pick to the winery|