The 2017 harvest has been very brief and in spite of the climactic challenges during the year, we are very pleased with the quality of the fruit that we have brought into the winery from the Roman Road vineyard, much of which is now wine that is finishing malolactic fermentation in our temperature controlled tanks. Our yields were lower than expected going into our second year of production as a result of the frost in April. We are now looking at how best we protect our vines against this risk in future years.
In its second year of use, our state-of-the-art winery has responded very well to the demands of the harvest and we are already looking forward to harvest 2018 when we will be taking a first crop from our 2016 vineyard on Railway Hill. As the vinification process draws to a close, the activity in the winery slows. Once finished, the wines will spend time settling down in tanks and barrels prior to blending in the new year. We have brought over more 225 litre barrels from our sister property in the Languedoc, Domaine de Sainte Rose, which will be used for ageing the Roman Road Chardonnay 2017 and some Chardonnay sparkling base wine. As with the barrels brought over last year, these have been used for ageing the sumptuously rich Roussanne variety, thus imparting a different and very special dimension to the wines that age within them.
Finally in an effort to bring a memorable element of fun into our winery, we have just installed a helter skelter slide, which brings you from our soon-to-be completed Glasshouse Tasting Room down into the winery in a very novel way! Do keep an eye on this site and our social media channels for opportunities to visit Simpsons Wine Estate in the new year, when you too can trial the slide!