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2006 Vintage Report

Canonbah Bridge 2006 Vintage Report

General:
Vintage started with the Semillon hand pick at 6am on the 10th January and finished with the final Shiraz pick on the 3rd of February. Unlike the previous years there was a 17 day gap between the white and the red harvest. This was due to a slightly cooler weather front that occurred for a 7 day period following the Verdelho harvest – bringing a few days of drizzle (only enough to wash the dust of the vines) and relatively cooler temperatures that slowed down the reds ripening.

As per the last 3 years, we have remained in a state of drought, and the low yields again this year were indicative of this. Last vintage the Semillon suffered the most from the heat – so this winter we built up large soil banks over the Semillon roots, and covered the banks with mulch (organic mulch from our farm).

We were thrilled at harvest with the quality of the Semillon fruit – good sized bunches, with full closure and great flavour and colour. The mulching enabled the roots to retain moisture, and minimized the stress on the vines. We are now undertaking the rest of the vineyard.

The reds again displayed the small berry size that we’ve seen over the last few vintages. This year we achieved 30-40% raisoning rather than the usual 20% with the Shiraz – due to the extreme season.

Continuing with our explorations of the last couple of years, we again noted the biodynamic calendar for key events in the vineyard (pruning; harvest, mulching etc). The biodynamic philosophy is that a combination of the constellation of the moon, position of the sun, the elements etc has a favourable influence on the 4 parts of the plant – root, leaf, fruit, flower. In terms of harvest the fruit characteristics are influenced by the characteristic of the day that the fruit is picked.

Our key wines were picked on the following days:

Semillon:
Root day – Mineral characteristics (Ram’s Leap Sem/Sauv and Bottle Tree Sem/Chard)

Verdelho:
Root day –
Suggesting mineral characteristics (Canonbah Bridge Verdelho)

Merlot:
Flower and Leaf day – Suggesting aromatic and herbal characters (Ram’s Leap Merlot)

B1 Shiraz:
Fruit and Root day – Suggesting bolder fruit notes and earthy characters (Ram’s Leap Shiraz & Ram’s Leap Rose)

B2 Shiraz:
Fruit and Leaf day – Bold fruit notes & herbaceous characters (Canonbah Bridge Drought Reserve Shiraz)

B3 Shiraz:
Leaf day – Suggesting herbal and herbaceous characters (Canonbah Bridge Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre)

When the wines are released – these suggested characteristics can be put to the test!

Varietal reports are as follows: Shiraz, Merlot, Semillon, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Grenache, Mourvedre.

VARIETY – SHIRAZ
Trellis system: Australian Sprawl
Harvest date: 29th January, 2nd February, 3rd February
Yield/acre: 2.2 tonnes.
Picking method: machine
Baume: 14.5
pH: 3.65

VARIETY – MERLOT
Trellis System: Vertical Shoot Positioning
Harvest date: 1st February
Yield/acre: 1.9 tonnes
Picking method: machine
Baume: 15
pH: 3.76

VARIETY – SEMILLON
Trellis System: High Wire Vertical Shoot Positioning
Harvest date: 10th and 11th January
Yield/acre: 2.9 tonnes
Picking method: hand picked
Baume: 11.7
pH: 3.4

VARIETY – VERDELHO
Trellis system: Vertical Shoot Positioning
Harvest date: 11th January
Yield/acre: 3.2 tonnes.
Picking method: machine picked
Baume: 11.65
pH: 3.72

VARIETY – SAUVIGNON BLANC
Trellis System: Smart-Dyson
Harvest date: 2nd April
Yield/acre: 3 tonnes
Picking method: Night machine picking
Baume: 12.5
pH: 3.4

VARIETY – CHARDONNAY
Trellis System: Vertical Shoot Positioning
Harvest date: 28th January
Yield/acre: 3 tonnes
Picking method: Night machine picked
Baume: 12.8
pH: 3.4

VARIETY – GRENACHE
Trellis System: Bush vine
Harvest date: 28th January
Yield/acre: 2.7 tonnes
Picking method: Night machine picked
Baume: 12.7
pH: 3.7

VARIETY – MOURVEDRE
Trellis System: Australian Sprawl
Harvest date: 28th January
Yield/acre: 3 tonnes
Picking method: Night machine picked
Baume: 13
pH: 3.7

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