Journey of a Rotherwood Pinot Grape
This journey could be the story of a pinot noir grape, part of a bunch on vine 10, row 35 at the Rotherwood Estate vineyard that hopes it’s going to be part of the 2022 vintage. This grape has already passed through several stages of development, including fruit set and enlargement. This year’s weather has been cooler than usual, so all bunches are behind, but soon they will pass through veraison (change colour), and then the ripening truly begins. The sugars will increase rapidly, and the sun and Rotherwood soil will add flavour.
Rotherwood bunch thin aggressively to ensure that the remaining bunches reach full flavour, so the journey of each grape becomes more perilous as time unfolds. Because Rotherwood farms organically, the vineyards will not be sprayed with poisons or other toxins. The survival of the grapes after the thinning process, however, is bolstered by the presence of beneficial insects attracted by companion plantings.
Picking this year should be the end of March or early April. Ample time to bolster flavour and complexity. The picking will occur in the early morning to concentrate and preserve flavours and stabilise sugar levels. All bunches picked must pass the quality control test, and only then will they be added to the picking bin to go to the winery.
At the winery, the bunches are destemmed and pressed. As a result, the grape will escape its individual identity, elevating it to become part of its generation. There is still much to happen with; fermentation, ageing in oak and finally bottling. It might even be another award-winning Rotherwood vintage. And if this grape gets this far, it will be part of it. This grape’s existence had a reason!
It’s romantic, really.