Vineyard quick out of the blocks

RELBIA'S Sharman's Vineyard has a reputation as the early bird as far as harvesting its grapes is concerned.

The 4.6-hectare vineyard's Matthew Creak said that the vineyard's sunny and wind-sheltered position allowed its fruit to ripen before that of many other producers.

``We're traditionally one of the first to pick and I think that was the case again this year,'' he said.

``We picked the pinot noir on Tuesday and the sauvignon blanc on Wednesday.

``We have about 1.6 hectares of pinot noir, 0.7ha of sauvignon blanc, 1ha of chardonnay, 0.7ha of riesling, 0.5ha of cabernet sauvignon and we planted out another 2.4 hectares this year - shiraz, more pinot noir and some pinot gris.

``Yield was down a bit on last year, probably due to the wet spring, but, talking to other vineyards, that seems to be the case across the board.

``But the quality is still very good and that's the important thing - OK grapes will only give you OK wine.''

Mr Creak said that he expected to bottle about 2200 dozen bottles of wine this year and this week's harvest would be ready for bottling in July.

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