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Chardonnay pick kicks-off 2015 harvest

The 2015 harvest has officially started at Gibbston Valley with the first pick of Chardonnay grapes. More incredible winemaking is underway.

Picked from our China Terrace vineyard in Bendigo, this Chardonnay will be used for our Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine to be released in the next few years. 

Harvest is the most exciting time of year at the winery as it’s the start of another vintage. From now through April, our winemakers will be working non-stop to process crates of fresh-picked whole bunches of grapes that arrive almost daily at the winery. By mid-May, our winemakers will have finished processing fruit, and the next vintage will be moved into barrel and put in the wine cave to age.

For anyone who has ever wanted to catch a glimpse of how our winemakers turn grapes into premium Central Otago wine, this is the time to visit. Our winery and cave tours take visitors next to the winemaking facilities where you can see our Chief Winemaker Christopher Keys along with Sascha Herbert, Matt Swirtz and the rest of the vintage team rambling around on forklifts; transporting fruit into the press, fermenter or destemmer; doing pinot punch downs; and even macerating fruit the traditional way, by stomping on it.

We handcraft a range of varietals including Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Methode Traditionelle, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Rosé, Late Harvest, Noble and of course Pinot Noir.

During this time of year it’s fascinating to see the winemakers not just in action but also employing slightly different methods to process our fruit depending upon the varietal and what they are striving for with the 2015 vintage.

firstpickchardonnay 2015

An ever-changing soundtrack selected by the winemakers and pumping from the winery speakers adds to the electrifying energy in the air. From Muddy Waters to Radio Head, the team always has something different playing, keeping spirits and energy levels high.

Those good vibes are part of the intangible that goes into the winemaking process at Gibbston Valley.

Keep checking back as we’ll be providing plenty of fresh-picked harvest updates throughout the season. For now, take a look at the photos below for a glimpse of our first pick of chardonnay grapes and Gibbston Valley winemaking in action. 

If you're interested in visiting, you can stop by anytime for a wine tasting at our Cellar Door or book one of our cave and winery tours offered daily. 

Cave and Winery Tours

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