Usually, we would have had the winery prepped in January, but we know from the past twenty years that as soon as we get into vintage mode, everything else becomes second.
Just the two of us here, the winery hat becomes the main hat you wear in the next couple of months, with the lighter workdays allowing me to escape to the office and try and keep up with the other side of the business.

How does the next couple of months affect day to day?

Well, days do become longer, walking vineyards, arranging fruit to be picked, receiving fruit to the winery and the whole process starts, crushing, pump-overs, fermentation, pressing off, racking, barrelling down and then putting to bed.
My hours are spent cleaning equipment which pretty much fits my personality, Michael is usually on the forklift for most of the day as you will find me on this. Still, Michael is about five times faster than me, to keep efficiency we usually slot into the jobs that best fit our skills.
Our vintage mornings are spent with a quick trip around vineyards gathering samples to bring back to the winery to analyse and record baume (sugar ripeness) and acid level, then have a plan in place to proceed on a picking date, and the process for each parcel of fruit.
This is followed by baume rounds to test fermentation movement on the wine, and how much sugar has converted to wine (alcohol) when these ferments are dry with zero sugar left, they are then ready to press off through our basket press.

Personally, at this time dinners are not very well planned, takeaway becomes more frequent than liked, social life is non-existent, we become the worst parents, and we will be exhausted but extremely happy.

Bring on vintage 2024.

Roussanne

Roussanne is a white wine grape grown originally in the Rhône wine region in France, where it is often blended with Marsanne. It is the only other white variety, besides Marsanne, allowed in the northern Rhône appellations of Crozes-Hermitage AOC, Hermitage AOC and Saint-Joseph AOC. In the southern Rhône appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC, it is one of six white grapes allowed, where it may be blended into red wines.

The berries are distinguished by their russet colour when ripe—roux is French for the reddish-brown colour russet and is probably the root for the variety’s name. The aroma of Roussanne is often reminiscent of a flowery herbal tea. In warm climates, it produces wines of richness, with flavours of honey and pear, and full body. In cooler climates, it is more floral and more delicate, with higher acidity.