“No Sweet Without Sweat” best describes our 2006 vintage.
2006 will be remembered at Grace Vineyard, as the year of the great frost. On April 11th a mass of cold air swept over the vineyard leaving 200mm of snow. The – 4.5 degree freeze blackened many of the young shoots, especially in Chardonnay, and to a lesser extent in Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon escaped damage.
Secondary shoots grew on the damaged vines but these shoots bear less crop. The overall effect brings certain influence of our output this year.
The remainder of the season progressed without incident. Rainfall was below average; however our deep soil allows root penetration to several meters. This factor when combined with a small amount of clay in the soil, which traps moisture, allowed steady, even growth throughout the year.
Step in August, the rainfall amount doubled last year’s, in order to guarantee the grape’s condition, we took a series of corresponding measures. In 28th, we decisive carry on the harvest of Chardonnay, which a few days earlier than normal. Sample test, sugar in 20, AT in 5.70, the PH value 3.40, the mature situation basically meets our consistent requirements. The wine is low in quantity, but high in quality.
In September, the weather had changed significantly for the better, the rainfall amount to 10mm, only was 1/8 of last year’s, suited the grape acidity and tannic the maturity. There followed, a three week break while we waited for the reds to fully ripen. Finally Merlot was picked in late September, sugar in 22.1, was lower than last year’s 23, the total acid and the PH value is impartial to last year.
Former year in National Day is our busiest harvest period, due to the postponed harvest, we relatively enjoyed a relax holiday. On Oct 9th -14th having the harvest of Cabernet Franc, the sugar and acidity about the same as last year while PH value is even better. Cabernet Sauvignon on Oct 9th -13th, sugar 22.9, the PH value 6.06, and our wine maker is very pleased with the wines. Fully mature grapes have produced wines with great color, intense varietals character and soft, fine persistent tannins. We are looking forward to revisiting the wines after 12 months in barrel.
Summarizes in 2006, although receives the spring disaster and the later period multi- rain weather affects, outcomes over the year, grape average sugar 22.6 (with last year impartial), the PH value, the acidity were more splendid than before. Our barrel usage has also changed; we are now sourcing French oak barrels from individual townships within a forest, to match the individual characters of Grace Vineyard wines. This is an exciting development designed to increase harmony and balance in our wines. We anticipated 2006 vintage will be able to have a more outstanding performance.
Chief Winemaker and Viticulturalist