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After a fantastic winter in terms of rain and temperatures in the Yarra Valley, the weather improved for a timely budburst which rolled into a warm spring that was perfect for flowering.
Julian Grounds, Innocent Bystander senior winemaker, said the vineyards were full of tightly packed bunches ahead of the harvest season.
Were thrilled because bunches like this can put you on the knife edge for disease risk, but weve come through spring with berries that have high acid, great colour and increased flavour development, Grounds said. The other benefit of tight bunches is less surface area exposure and far less risk of berry sunburn.
There was a cool kick at the end of summer that slowed ripening to perfectly balance physiological and sugar ripeness, far preferable to sugar ripeness occurring first. One of the best things about Innocent Bystander is the excellent relationship between the winery and vineyards, Grounds said. Steve and I feel confident that theyre always going to be picking fruit at its very best, and we trust our Head Viticulturist Stuart Marshall implicitly to provide us with exceptional fruit.
I am particularly excited about our Tarraford Syrah. Cool climate Syrah is a pet love of mine and Im looking forward to the chance to work with lots of whole bunch winemaking at a site that just soaks it up.
Grounds said he was looking forward to using a new Oscillys Destemmer which could produce almost 100 per cent whole berry ferments out of Pinot Noir and Syrah.
A notion which, as Julian put it: Makes me salivate.