It smells great in the winery #V17

The first fruit in for the vintage is always chardonnay and pinot for our sparkling, The Silurian. It's fortunate that its the first in too, when we're still energetic, because there is a lot of manual handling involved. Here you see Monica loading individual picking 'lugs' into the press after the grapes have been chilled overnight.

Vintage 2017 is well past halfway, with 60 tonnes of grapes already in the winery in various stages of fermentation. And it smells great! We've had good yields, and this early stage quality looks very good. We have some very fine and delicate sparkling base made, and some lively racy Pinot Gris filling the winery with lovely fruity aromas. Riesling and Tempranillo are about to start, and Chardonnay is already finished and beginning its maturation in barrel. We've started pressing the first red off skins today, so that adds to the heady aromas.

At this stage, that mainly leaves a bit more Tempranillo, the Shiraz and the late ripening reds -- Mondeuse, Touriga and Graciano -- still to come in. We haven't had too much rain yet, but we would appreciate some dry autumn weather right now!