Grape expectations high for bumper crop

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS They’re picked in the dead of night and arrive at Michelini Wines’ Myrtleford processing plant at daybreak – and as the first juice begins to flow into their chilled vats, winemaker Frederico Zagama has already given it the thumbs up. Chardonnay grapes destined for premium champagnes will be the first of more than 650 tonnes of fruit that will be processed this autumn and Zagama says the signs are good for a bumper harvest and a special vintage. PHOTO: Barrett Higman

VIGNERONS and grape growers have swung into harvest – with early reports of a bumper crop and outstanding vintage.

The first batch of what will be more than 650 tonnes of grapes to be processed by Michelini Wines arrived at their Myrtleford plant last Thursday.

Two truckloads, 16 tonnes each of chardonnay grapes, were delivered after being harvested in the dark in the early hours of the morning.

In time more than 150 tonnes of chardonnay will be blended with 100 tonnes of pinot noir to creat a base for the exclusive Domaine Chandon champagne.

Winemaker Frederico Zagama said by the end of harvest they will have processed more than 650 tonnes of grapes.

“We have done the best pick we can imagine — the Boehme, Ph levels and acidity are all really good,” he said.

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