Vintage 2016 was a very mixed bag. A very dry start with no rain in October 2015 followed by mild summer temperatures. The rain started in November and ended with 42mm of rain in one day in February 2016. Just to be different, that was followed by a very dry finish to the season with temperatures in the 40°C’s by the time we got to picking.
We were also kindly offered some Shiraz grapes from Walla Walla by a local farmer and friend. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to introduce Marty, a friend visitng from NZud, to our great Aussie climate. Having come from a balmy 23°C in NZud, he was straight into the 43°C days and picking Shiraz with us.
Luckily, the Pinot Noir that he'd brought with him from Hawkes Bay, NZ washed away the heat and exhaustion from the days of picking quite easily.
The Shiraz we picked in Walla Walla has beautiful blood plum and strawberry nose with a luscious mouth feel, suited to a dry table wine. We think visitors to Flyfaire are going to love this new addition for the 2016 vintage.
With the heat came the unsurprising quick ripening of our grapes at Flyfaire. Our Merlot grapes were the first to come-off the vines at 12 baumé (baumé measures the density of liquids, including our wine!).
The Carménère on the other hand suffered a little heat stress this year. Being young vines, only 2 years since we planted them, this was expected. But we are happy with the crop in the end and the flavours are surprisingly intense.
Chanel, our work experience student, also enjoyed the challenge and added a youth-filled enthusiasm to the job at hand.
Next up, we had a little bit of wild picking to do with our bush Cabernet. And to the rescue came two lovely young backpackers who were up to the challenge: Kristy from Los Angeles and Patrice from Paris. In no time all, the Cabernet was off the vines and ready for processing.
We still have the Riesling and Marsanne to come off the vines. So, we'll be be picking them shortly.
Last, but not least, we also had the help of Teddy the vineyard dog. Thankfully!
Flyfaire Wines is located in the Woomargama National Park and we are close to the regional centres of Holbrook, Albury/Wodonga, Canberra, and Wagga Wagga. We produce quality cool climate wines and provide a premium cellar door & café experience.