It’s a busy time of the year here in the winery! The cold days and clear blue skies have made for perfect bottling and pruning conditions!
That’s right; this week has been all about the bottling! We have bottled the 2019 Ingram Pinot Grigio, the 2019 Lana’s Rose. We are excited about getting these wines into the cellar door and on tasting; the Lana’s Rose is looking particularly delicious!
We have started on the mammoth task of pruning all of our vines; this starts off with a process called “Pre-pruning”. This is a way of removing all of the long growth by machine, making it easier to get in and prune by hand. This method does require us to walk through the vines and take note of any vines that may need a cordon replaced.
Once the machine has been through and pre-pruned the vines, our team of pruners goes vine to vine, pruning the canes down to a 2 bud spur. When spring comes, the bud’s form new canes on each of the spurs creating what is called new wood. Many people think that we are crazy to prune so much off a vine, but the grapes only grow and form on the new canes! If we didn’t prune we wouldn’t have any grapes and without grapes we would have no wine!
If you have any more questions about pruning or want to try any of the wines our Cellar Door is open 7 days a week! Come in and ask as many questions as you like!
Winter time in the Yarra Valley
The days are colder and darker, the leaves have fallen and the snow is coming! Winter in the Yarra Valley is a magical time of the year.
We are still a hive of activity at Helen’s Hill with all sorts of work happening. If you have been to the Cellar Door in the past couple of weeks, you will have seen the changes in the vines – all those lush green leaves have gone and the vines are bare. We are getting ready to do some pruning shortly once the last leaves fall off our Sauvignon Blanc. As the vines have been changing so have the wines in the Cellar Door, we have a host of all new vintages of some of our favourites! Including the 2018 Helen’s Hill ‘Hilltop’ Syrah and the 2016 Helen’s Hill ‘Old Orchard’ Cabernets, both are fantastic winter warmers!
You may also have noticed some other changes happening around the place, there are some big things happening around the Cellar Door in the next couple of months! We are very excited about what is happening – keep an eye out on the new website and our Instagram (Helens_hill), all will be revealed very soon!
Many of you may have noticed that we have quietly updated and upgraded our website! This has been a big task and we are very proud of the final outcome! It’s now even easier to order our wine and have it delivered to you anywhere in Australia, with free shipping for our Victorian customers. (For any international orders please contact us directly via email for current pricing)
Don’t forget that we have a lovely fire that is always on over the weekend in the Cellar Door and during the week we always have great wines to try!
Helen's Hill Vintage Report 2019
I think that this has been said by a lot of people – 2019 what a vintage! The Yarra Valley has done it again!
The growing season started with a little wetter than normal spring, it then warmed up with some lovely consistent weather that produced a great fruit set and healthy cropping levels.
The ripening season came upon us with a vigour that’s above average! We had some warmer than normal temperatures that saw the fruit develop beautiful flavours and intensity. Another year of little to no disease in the vineyard has created a very strong and healthy crop which has survived the higher temperatures of the ripening season.
This was a standout year for our Breachley Block Chardonnay and our Hilltop Syrah. Both displayed excellent flavours during veraison and are definitely ones that are going to develop into something truly special!
Pinot as a whole was a great year but this year’s single clone Pinots are looking spectacular and definitely the ones to watch! These wines are just getting better every year and are an amazing expression of the Pinot Noir variety. We are particularly looking forward to seeing how our 'Smuggler' Reserve Pinot develops with some time in oak, as it was the highlight of the years Pinot's coming out of the press.
The dark horse for the year is our Merlot! This is a highly underrated wine displaying beautiful blackcurrant flavours with a little hint of spice with smooth tannins!
As we wrap up Vintage ’19 here at Helen’s Hill, we would like to say a big thanks to the winemakers and our wonderful vineyard staff for working the long hours so we can have great wines to drink!