As our Geographe vineyards lay dormant, the winery is humming with activity. The Harvey sites are being pruned; more montepulciano and barbera are being grafted onto vines to bolster Harvey River Estate’s Italian varietal lineup in upcoming vintages.
While the vineyards are shut down, we are busy in the winery with a bustling bottling schedule ahead of us.
The 2023 vintage of our incredibly popular Harvey River Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon has already been bottled and made its way to the store. This year, the wine is incredibly refreshing and finely balanced, lightly bodied, crisp and dry with lemon and lime fruits flowing through to the palate.
This year’s reds are all in barrels, and a couple of our red 2022 varietals were bottled in August.
The shiraz is fairly rich and spicy. We are just putting the finishing touches on it prior to bottling, but it is showing good varietal characters; strong and heavy. A bigger bolder style red wine. The 2022 cabernet is a bit more refined; a classic cabernet with blueberry and current flavours shining through.
We can look forward to seeing these on the market in another 12 months or so, once they have rested in bottle.
At a glance…As we reach the end of vintage for 2023, the final parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec have come through the winery for processing. They are now fermenting on skins, soon to be pressed. Our white varietals, including the hand picked Chardonnay, have finished their alcoholic fermentation and have had some lees stirring. Our red harvests so far, which include Montepulicano, Barbera, Shiraz and Merlot are all going through ferment as well, and have been or are about to be pressed off skins.
The season and our sites…This vintage, we were truly blessed with some of the best weather conditions one could hope for. We saw some lovely long periods of warm sunny days throughout Geographe, punctuated by a handful of brief local rain events. In the vineyard leaf plucking and removal were essential operations carried across most varieties and this has led to optimum ripening conditions. Fruit yields across the board have been above normal, and despite the low levels of gum blossoms there has been very minimal bird pressure on the vines. I am expecting a stellar year for the whites.
Final remarks…From what we are tasting, 2023 is shaping to be an outstanding vintage for all varieties across Geographe, attributable to the excellent weather we have had building up around ripening and through to harvest.
About the Winemaker, Stuart Pierce, a self-confessed Chardonnay lover who is dedicated to making wines people want to pour another glass of, sits at the helm of Harvey River Estate and Fishbone’s winemaking. Since joining the family’s winery in 2005, his philosophy has remained focused on minimal intervention processing, letting varieties speak for themselves, and building a range of accessible and expressive wines that celebrate everything the Geographe Wine Region has to offer. Stuart’s travels through Europe and years working in renowned South Australian wine regions like McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Padthaway have influenced his dedication to the holistic health of vineyards and delicate approach to winemaking. Over the past 17 years Stuart and Kevin have worked together closely, evolving the winemaking practices at Harvey River Estate. From vineyard management, to processing equipment and technology, hand-in-hand they have established and are continuing to transform the winery.