Cap Classique harvest draws to a close for 22nd time at Graham Beck Wines

Tuesday, 21 February, 2012
Graham Beck Wines
Harvest for the cultivars used in the Graham Beck sparkling wines has drawn to a close for the 22nd time since production began; the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are bubbling happily, and with them a new cellar fellow, Pinot Meunier.
Pinot Meunier is the third cultivar used in French champagne. Part of the “search for the perfect bubble” by Pieter ‘bubbles’ Ferreira, Cellar Master at Graham Beck Wines’ Robertson estate, the Pinot Meunier experiment will only reveal its outcome when fermentation is over and the base wines are complete.

With whole bunch pressing behind them and fermentation near-complete, the team has turned its attention to ‘Tank Tetris’; blending similar batches of wine to free up space, fill up tanks and get a sense of what each parcel will bring to the blended wines.

All the while the still-wine grapes are slowly trickling in; the Chardonnay harvest is over and also in residence is an experimental batch of Pinot Noir for a still red wine. The team is enthused about the potential of this new wine, as the grapes are being treated in the traditional way – on the skins in open barrels, the skins pressed dry in a basket press, and the wine returned to the same barrel for malolactic fermentation and later, maturation.

Next will be the Viognier, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The team is taking a breath and enjoying the brief respite – as Pieter says, “It’s the calm before the storm!”