Originally my harvest date was set for early March, but after a week of 30+ weather and checking the grapes, Roger decided to move it forward a bit. Unfortunately I ending up having a minor medical procedure the day before so I was banned from picking by the Doc. So there I was, unofficial photographer, baked goods transport, and missed grapes scout. I did manage to get about 5 buckets of hard to see grapes, so I probably harvested about as much as I drank.
Thankfully whilst it was supposed to be a hot day, at least it wasn't 30C already at 7am like last year. The sun doesn't really get above the vines until after morning tea so it was quite pleasant until maybe 10am.
With more free time than usual I did a bit of a wander around the vineyard, and I was impressed by just how good the grapes were this year. There is a surprising variation in flavours, and the pics below give an idea of how the grapes ripen at different rates even in such a small vineyard.
Apparently there is one section Roger calls his cool climate vines, as it gets around 4 hours less sun per day due to it being in a little gully. If I remember right, this is where the grapes for the 2010 Symposium came from, which Roger rates as his spiciest wine ever.
More secrets revealed below.
|Dawn over the Vale, 7am. The vineyard itself won't see much sun for another hour or so.|
This is Roger's driveway with a view to the northeast over the Vale and looking to Moana Beach. The driveway points pretty much towards McLaren Vale town.
|The foreground is where I believe Symphony usually comes from - it gets hard to remember later what Roger tells me during the day for some reason.|
View from the clothes line, again looking northwest. I did get a photo of the clothes line but honestly a photo doesn't do it justice, such art deco class needs to be seen in person.
|Super secret picture! This might be where the grapes are processed and the barrels stored but I cannot confirm, or deny, such wild speculation.|
|some grapes ever so slightly starting to shrivel|
|and others still plump|
|Roger wanting to know why the bin is not yet full|
|Roger wanting to know if the pies and pasties were good at morning tea|
|These are some of the people to thank for your Marius 2013. The esky had no beer in it at any stage, sad but necessary for harvest efficiency - however there was beer about 30s later!|
Plenty of intensity in these two, so much so that you can get called a wine wanker arguing over which one has more. No hurry to drink either, but a joy if you do.
The 2010 SM coming along very nicely indeed!
|Super secret photo #2, a rare Marius wine that only a select few will ever try - a staggering experience.|
|Needs 10+ years I reckon, this continues to improve, and surprise me.|
|8 years old? Coulda fooled me!|
|Surprising Cab this, I would have picked it as a GSM, nice wine but out of the mold.|
We played "options" trying to guess facts about a wine, but of course with a bunch of Marius fans it's not going to work all that well with a Marius wine, so Roger used this one. Three of us guessed Mudgee, two of us guessed 2011, none got Cab Sav.
I really didn't do Peter's boeuf Bourguignon justice with this photo, especially since I'd gobbled down half of it before remembering the camera. Plus I missed taking a pic of his delicious lunch with a brilliant chutney and terrine.