Sirromet Wines begins 2014 vintage grape harvest and crush

Sirromet Wines began its 2014 vintage harvest this week and expects to crush 500 tonnes of grapes from its Queensland vineyards over the next three months.

Chief winemaker Adam Chapman said Chardonnay and Cabernet varietals from Sirromet’s Granite Belt vineyards are stand-outs for quality this season with good leaf and upright growth on the vines.

“At this stage we think our total yield (500 tonnes) should be similar to what we crushed the previous vintage, despite different growing conditions,” he said.

Sirromet harvested its first fruit from the new vintage last Sunday when five tonnes of red Chambourcin grapes were picked from vineyards at the company’s headquarters at Mount Cotton, near Brisbane.

The fruit was hand-picked by more than 80 Club Sirromet members.

It was crushed on Monday (Jan 20) and then stored in tanks for eventual use in the winery’s sweet-style ‘Love My’ range.

Sirromet will start harvesting the bulk of its 2014 Vvntage fruit from its 100-hectares of vineyards at Ballandean on the Granite Belt in early February, starting with Verdelho white grapes.

Chapman said most of the white fruit, which also includes Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Viognier, will be harvested in February, followed by red varieties in March and early April.

“We had excellent growing conditions on the Granite Belt from October through to Christmas, with a good mix of rain and sun without extremes,” he said.

“It was warmer than usual for a week around New Year, which means some fruit will ripen sooner and be picked a couple of weeks earlier compared to 2013.”

Chapman said laboratory testing for sugar, pH and acid levels had been undertaken on all Sirromet’s 2014 vintage fruit to pinpoint the optimum time to harvest each variety.

As in past years, fruit harvested from the company’s vineyards at Ballandean will be transported by a fleet of refrigerated trucks in a 220km drive to the winery’s production centre at Mount Cotton.