As we roll (too) rapidly towards another vintage, our vines are jumping out of their skins!
Flowering is almost complete and given the early burst of summer weather, we will watch the vines closely to assess the best time to begin replenishing the soil moisture reserves. The graph shown is taken from one of our soil moisture probes, which remotely and automatically take soil moisture readings across several sites and at different depths throughout the vineyard.
Using this online information, we can determine the point we need to apply water and importantly, how quickly the vines are depleting it from the soil profile. It’s all part of the process of making sure we utilise our precious water resources as efficiently as possible and maintain our vines in the best possible condition, which in turn gives our winemakers the best possible chance of making the best possible wine.
The 2018 vintage promises to be another exciting one for Pikes, with some newly planted and recently-grafted blocks coming ‘on line’, which amongst other things will deliver our first small look at the ‘real’ Albarino. And hopefully we have got it right this time around!
Those with long memories will recall that we first planted what we thought was the famous white variety from the Spanish north-western region of Galicia way back in 2007…only to discover two or three years later (along with the rest of the Australian producers who planted it) that it was in fact something altogether different!
A variety from western France called Savignan (or Savagnin, depending on how you see it) was somehow mixed up in the CSIRO mother vine nursery at Merbein many years ago and was never picked up until it was planted commercially. Whilst many made the decision to pull it out or graft over it, we decided to persevere with Savignan as another varietal for our alternative range at Pikes. And we’re very pleased we did, because the Pikes ‘Impostores’ Savignan has become a valuable addition to the Pikes portfolio.
It is made in a similar style to our benchmark Riesling, but is an interesting contrast to that variety, producing a crisp dry white wine, laced with citrus and white stone fruit, typical Polish Hill River chalky minerality and a subtle brininess on the finish. It’s the perfect partner for fresh natural oysters…or any fresh seafood really.
The 2017 version is right on trend and was awarded a Silver medal at the recent Alternative Variety wine show at Mildura…some small reward for perseverance! Make sure you get some for your Christmas table – you can purchase online here.
All the best for the festive season and a happy new year to all!