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After one of the hottest Januarys on record, it was a bit surprising to find picking started at around the same time as usual, the second week of February. This year, however, we had a significant change at Chambers Rosewood with the addition of a grape harvester.
In the cellar, vintage commenced on 10 February, with the arrival of the first fruit, Brown Muscat, which is used for making our very popular Light Muscat.
Next came the white varieties Palomino, Traminer and Riesling followed by the Roussanne and Gouais which were all harvested by the end of the month.
Out in the vineyard we had to sort out a few teething problems with the harvester but by March we were in full swing getting the reds and a couple of port varieties through.
Although we had not anticipated problems, we found that due to a combination of our traditional trellising system and the tightness of the bunches of the Muscat grapes, that mechanical harvesting was not going to work. Our regular team of pickers completed the job of bringing in this variety which came in with the highest Baume levels we have ever seen at the winery.
At the time of writing we had just about finished all the picking with just over 209 tonnes picked and only a couple of varieties, for port and Bills Ambrosia, still on the vine.