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Nathan Bailey
3 February 2017 | Nathan Bailey

Brown Hill 2017 Vintage Update


It’s that time of year again. Green bunches of grapes hang from the vines, nets begin to appear over the vineyard and a sense of a deep breath drawn in and held in anticipation of another coming vintage. The days roll by and there are no longer months but days remaining until we begin harvest and crafting wines for another year. With each day forward a sense of excitement and anticipation grows.

During this time a few things are happening. Maintenance, preparation and vigilance take precedence. We’ve been busy for some time now, checking the vineyard for any repairs that need to be done, and making sure they’re complete. A vineyard is like any farm: there’s never a lack of work to be done. We’re beginning to move indoors, greasing equipment, replacing gaskets and ensuring all the practical considerations are seen to in order to hit the ground running and turn our grapes into the best wine possible.

Above all is the vigilance required to grow a high-quality crop. Nathan and I are walking the rows of vines daily, checking for health and monitoring ripening. Any day now I expect to see the Cabernet turn from green to red. We are always watchful for pests, nutritional deficiencies or damage to the vines. I’m quite pleased to report that every time we take these walks, we’re astounded by how healthy the whole vineyard looks. There’s also the more positive aspect of this monitoring where we attempt to estimate when we will harvest and what yields we should expect.

Summer really is a great time to be in Margaret River. Why not get away for a weekend and come and visit us? From now until the end of April you’re likely to get an insight into winemaking that you’ll rarely be exposed to. As you drive up the driveway you may well see our teams out picking grapes in the morning. In the winery we may be pressing grapes, filling barrels or carefully monitoring fermentation as juice literally becomes wine. 


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