Tough vintage this year with crops down 70% on average. On a typical year we’d be harvesting closer to 3 tonnes to the acre rather than under 1 tonne to the acre we’ve seen this vintage. This came about due to the poor weather conditions during flowering, mostly hail damage to the flowers causing poor fruit set. From what we’ve heard a lot of growers faced similar issues around the Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley and Gippsland regions. The small amount of fruit we did get is big with character and what we lost in yield we feel will be made up for in quality. Look out for the 2014 wines!
We have now finished with the picking and processing of the grapes and have turned our attention to our new cellar door development. The planning permit and working drawings are complete and we have set out the site for the excavation work, which should be starting any day now, weather permitting. We were hoping to have it open for the end of this year but due to some delays this may be put back. The new building will be a purpose built cellar door with commercial kitchen, private meeting/tasting room and verandas. A lower ground level consisting of a large single room in which we have plans on running DIY workshops, such as… “How to build your own wood fired pizza oven” Cheese making, etc. Updates on progress will be posted on our website on a regular basis and can be viewed at www.cannibalcreek.com.au
We’ve done a bit more drainage work over the summer and have noticed a big improvement in the vine health, particularly in the low lying areas. We are exploring our soil health both biological and the chemistry with the view of organically boosting soil health with the use of compost teas. This can help organically control fungal diseases by building up diverse microbial activity in the soils and in turn develop very resilient vines. There has been some very positive results in the Yarra Valley, and it makes a lot of sense to us. We are looking forward to trialing this with the aim of no or very limited chemical use in the future. We will post reports on how successful we feel it has been as we learn more.
This year we have done 100% wild ferment with the pinot noir and you can already observe differences, particularly on the bouquet with a leaning towards savoury characters rather than fruit. It is going to be interesting to watch the development over the next twelve months and to decide whether we feel wild ferment fits with our terroir.
Tough start and poor volumes, but lovely fruit – vintage rating 7/10