Vintage 2016 @FlyfaireWines

 Teddy, the vineyard dog, guarding the Merlot for us

Teddy, the vineyard dog, guarding the Merlot for us

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.

 Friends helping us with vintage 2016 including Marty from NZud (middle)

Friends helping us with vintage 2016 including Marty from NZud (middle)

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.

 Friends helping with vintage 2016

Friends helping with vintage 2016

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.

 Les, our winemaker, inspecting the Merlot

Les, our winemaker, inspecting the Merlot

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.

 Chanel, our work experience student helping with vintage 2016

Chanel, our work experience student helping with vintage 2016

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.

 Kristy from Los Angeles and Patrice from Paris help out in the Cabernet

Kristy from Los Angeles and Patrice from Paris help out in the Cabernet

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! 

Vintage 2016: Video at Flyfaire Wines of processing the Cabernet Sauvignon. Watch as we feed and crush the grapes in the processor and even Boof the vineyard dog helps out.

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.

Flyfaire 2014 Riesling - Les & Marty Review New Flyfaire Vintage

Les, our Winemaker and Marty visiting from New Zealand recently reviewed a 2014 Riesling. Marty immediately notes the "Woomaragama Smell" of lime / Citrus aromas - a very fragrant and complex wine.

Les notes the wine is crisp with the flavours of the oak coming through. Les also tells us that the wine has a pH of around 3.01 and 12% alcohol content.

The 2014 Riesling is not yet available in our Online Shop, but it should be very shortly. 

All in all, a very interesting wine. We hope you enjoy this short video. 

The background noise by the way, is the insects outside at night!


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.

Flyfaire Participates for 2015 Riesling Challenge

 
 2015 Flyfaire Riesling ready for 2015 Riesling Challenge

2015 Flyfaire Riesling ready for 2015 Riesling Challenge

This year, we've entered our Riesling in to the Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC). The wine competition was created in Canberra, Australia to highlight one of our favourites at Flyfaire, Riesling.

Riesling is the ‘queen of grapes’. It is also the most demanding mistress. If not treated with care and respect, it is unforgiving.
— http://www.rieslingchallenge.com/discover-riesling/

The challenge attracts wines from Riesling producing countries from all around the world and is seen as one of the most significant events of its type in the southern hemisphere.

Having entered the challenge, we will be competing with 500 other Riesling producers from across the world.

The results are out Friday the 16th of October, 2015 and we'll be sure to update this post to let you know how we went!


Results

Flyfaire scored a 79 in the Various Class 1 [Current Vintage 2015- Dry - <8g sugar/ltr]. It was a solid result, with a very high level of competition and quality of competitors seen at this year's challenge. You can access the full results here.

Interesting Facts About Riesling:

  • It's latin name is Vitis Vinifera.
  • It comes from the Caucasus mountains in Georgia.
  • The wine was possibly enjoyed by the Romans who may have chosen it for its ability ripen in cold climates.
  • First documentary evidence of the grape appears in 1435 by Kloster Eberback, a monastery in the Rhinegau.
  • Austrians have claimed to have had Riesling since 1308 at Ritzling, in Wachau.
  • Riesling was first grown in Germany and then spread to the surrounding grape growing countries, which included Italy, Austria and Hungary. More recently, Riesling reached the new world wine countries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

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 experience.

NSW Small Winemakers | Flyfaire takes the Bronze

The 24th Annual NSW Small Winemakers Wineshow results are out and Flyfaire has again had success with our new Flyfaire 2014 "Jane in the Mist" Riesling which received a Bronze in the category "Blended Fortified Wine - Dry to Sweet" with the great score of 48.5 points. The class comments noted that it was good to see an interest still exists in fortified wine. Our winemaker created this new style due to customer demand for a sweeter style of wine and it's great to see it has been instantly recognised with this award.

This is our second medal at the NSW Small Winemakers, with last year's awards resulting in a Bronze medal for our Flyfaire 2013 Merlot. That vintage sold out earlier this year and we hope to have the same success with Jane in the Mist.

We missed out on medals with our other wine entries, including:

  • The Flyfaire 2014 Riesling in the category "Class 1 Dry White Table Wine - Riesling any Vintage" with a score of 44.5. We were just 2 points shy of receiving an award for our Flyfaire 2014 Riesling with the class comments noting that the wines had strong Riesling characteristics; and
  • The Flyfaire 2014 Merlot in the category "Class 18 Dry Red Table Wine, Merlot, any Vintage" with a score of 35.

The New South Wales Small Winemakers Show for 2014 held in Forbes, NSW. The competition is open to all vignerons provided they produce wine from no more than 500 tonnes of grapes per annum, not owned or part owned by a larger wine producer, and wines are made from grapes, 85% of which have been grown anywhere within NSW and the ACT. For the full list of results, click here.


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 experience.

Vintage 2015 - Sweet Riesling Grapes - Late Picked Riesling

 Riesling Grapes - Weird and Wonderful&nbsp;Lighting Effects

Riesling Grapes - Weird and Wonderful Lighting Effects

In May 2015, we harvested our late picked Riesling. Promising to be a great addition to our expanding selection of wines, this wine will feature a very sweet and sticky approach. In order to maximise the sweetness of the wines, we waited for the first frost to pick our first crop of Sweet Riesling Grapes.

You may be familiar with Ice Wine, famously grown in Canada's Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Region and this wine that we're trailing is a little bit similar in its preparation. Ice Wine concentrates the sugars as the sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does. This allows for a more concentrated grape which must to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_wine).

In the first week of May, 2015, we had our first frost and therefore, our Sweet Riesling Grapes were ready for harvest. We are looking forward to the results to share with you!

Lastly, you might be wondering what's with the photos featured? Well, our winemaker was trailing different lighting effects on our Sweet Riesling Grapes. We think the grapes look pretty amazing using these lighting techniques. We'd love to know your thoughts on these photos, and our Sweet Riesling Wine, in the comments!

 Riesling Grapes - Weird and Wonderful Lighting Effects

Riesling Grapes - Weird and Wonderful Lighting Effects

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 experience.

Sweet Riesling Cake - Left Over Riesling Grapes

 Our Cattle enjoying the left over Sweet Riesling Cake

Our Cattle enjoying the left over Sweet Riesling Cake

You may remember our Grape Marc post from a while ago, where we talked about feeding our sweet Riesling cake to our cattle. It is the left over Riesling grapes after processing / pressing.

The photo above is our cattle practically running to eat the Riesling cake. They love it! 

'Grape marc' or 'pomace' is the solid remains of grapes after pressing for the wine juice. It contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the grapes (Wikipedia - Grape Marc). Whilst to most vineyards this is simply waste after processing the juice, we have found it is extremely nutritious for our cattle.

Tell us if you have had any experience with using Grape Marc or Pomace? We love to get your comments!

 Feeding out the Sweet Riesling Cake or Grape Marc

Feeding out the Sweet Riesling Cake or Grape Marc

Vintage 2015

 
 Marty Yates visits Flyfaire from New Zealand

Marty Yates visits Flyfaire from New Zealand

The growing season started with a repetition of last year with frosts for the first few weeks in October, 2014. This presented a good opportunity to test the frost heater installed last year. Protecting the young shoots is critical at this time because any damage to a new shoot will result in the year’s crop being wiped out.

In November, 2014 Dr Graham Robertson from the Australian Antarctic Division; Hobart, Australia, arrived to spend a few days with us and just in time to help out with the planting of the last 2 rows of Carménère, to finish the block started in 2013.

Later in November, Bron and Marty Yates, friends of Les' from university days, spent a week with us, and again, just in time, to help with planting replacement Chardonnay vines. It’s wonderful to have friends that love to get their hands dirty. It seems that everyone that visits gets a job in the vineyard!

The season threw more challenges with stormy and humid weather as well as large temperature swings of over 20°C differentials during a 24 hour period. Tropical like fogs descended upon Flyfaire followed by the more traditional dry spells requiring irrigation of the vines.

The sulphur and copper organic sprays were applied early to the vineyard and maintained control of the mould for a short period. Outbreaks still occurred which were difficult to control. The leaf growth and fruit load on all varieties were outstanding, perhaps in part a result of the organic fertiliser applied (chicken manure) in 2012 followed by an application of prilled hydrated lime in 2013, all reaching deep into the root zone by 2015.

This season saw our first crop of grapes from the new "Don Pepe Carménère Block". How exciting to harvest a grape variety predominately grown in Chile. A small batch of 40 litres is now fermenting under the watchful eye of the  winemaker, Les.

On other news, last year we won our first medal awarded to our 2013 Merlot in the New South Wales Small Winemakers Show. We were overjoyed to achieve this recognition with it being the first time we have entered our Merlot in a competition. We have now sold out of this vintage, but we are looking forward to achieving further results with the 2014 vintage yet to be released.

 

This year’s picking has come 3 weeks early.  We are currently busy with a bumper crop (the best ever). The season tended to cause erratic Veraison which was difficult to predict, but flavours in all of the varieties are intense.

To add excitement to the harvest, NSW National Parks has done an early fuel reduction burn of the Woomargama National Park on the Tunnel Road on the 10th March, 2015 just opposite our vineyard.  We managed to harvest half the Merlot crop before smoke settled in. The other half may be affected by smoke taint, only after ferment will we know. We have survived two other fires in December, 2014 started by lightning.  The sound of the helicopter water bombers is becoming all too familiar.