2014 Vintage Update: The Shiravalanche

Greetings avid blog readers,

The Shiravalanche is upon us, but it is not quite as scary as last year. Although yields have been down in some blocks, Shiraz is generally well balanced this year with that magic trifecta of great flavour, ripe tannins and good acidity occurring at the same time.

This past week has been extremely busy. All the older vines have been hand-picked, hand-sorted and gently destemmed into tanks. Nearly all of our Rieslings have begun fermenting, the juices shaping up to be exceptionally aromatic and flavoursome. Our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have finished alcoholic fermentation and will all be transfered to barrel tomorrow (Friday).

Harvesting machineryHolding grape cluster in hand

We have had a few of those vintage heart failure moments so far. First there was a power blackout (thankfully for only a couple of hours one night), then the lees filter seized and faulted mid-cycle (we fixed it, but it could have resulted in the loss of 3 hours of work). We’ve had harvesters breaking down, rainclouds looming over us during picking, and cooling systems not working properly. But luckily with the skills of our team and a bit of luck we have managed to resolve everything without any reduction in wine quality. It just adds fuel to the grey hairs and restless nights!

Our team is doing a stupendous job, there’s such passion and dedication in the people who work at Best’s. The ferments are revealing all the flavours and aromas that our great vineyards provide which are then being captured in the wines going into barrel or tank. Let’s hope we don’t get thrown too many more curve balls, we’re all getting a little bit weary now.

Til next time,



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