2018 Vintage at 16 Mile Cellar

This year I started a new adventure as I accepted the position as winemaker/GM of 16 Mile Cellar. Working closely with Susan Barnacle and Joe Groia I am determined to put my mark on 2018!

As many already know, this growing season was full of sun, heat, and a little bit of rain when we needed it most. However, like many vintages in the past, most winemakers were harvesting around days of rain, high humidity, and lots of disease pressure. 2018 marks the first year 16 Mile Cellar will be making 100% estate fruit wine.

Vineyard view

We hand picked our very first crop of Chardonnay in early September after a long 4 year wait! The fruit was sun kissed, fully ripened, and incredibly clean. Pressed whole cluster, the juice had a wonderful balance of acid and sugar and was put into french oak barrels right away. After a short couple days of waiting, the fermentation started naturally and slowly bubbled away creating a symphony in the cellar! Now we wait for the sugars to fully ferment so we can rack the wine down into our underground cellar for aging.

Loading the fruit onto the trailer...headed to the press!
Chardonnay fermenting in barrel.

Pinot, Pinot, Pinot. The 'heartbreak grape'. You can always count on Pinot to cause high stress levels for winemakers every year. This thin skinned variety does not take well to heat and humidity during the harvest season, and often will begin to breakdown in a matter of days. I'm happy to report this year we didn't miss the mark. Susan's Vineyard Pinot Noir was hand picked in mid-September. We processed each clone separately and ended up with 60% whole cluster and  40% destemmed fruit. Fermentation started naturally and we pressed the wine into neutral french oak barrels. Thanks to the warm and dry summer, the grapes produced wine with deep colour and intense flavours. We are very excited to see how these batches develop in the cellar over the next few years!
Sampling in the vineyard days before picking our Pinot.
We get by with a little help from our friends!
Plunging our whole cluster Pinot ferments
Destemmed Pinot dig out..getting ready to press!

Now as the temperature drops and the cold wind takes over, we have time to slowly taste through the barrels and reflect on vintage 2018. Thankful we didn't have to pick all the fruit at once and that we were given enough beautiful days to harvest without too much stress! 

Thanks again to everyone to helped make this vintage the best one yet!

Cheers Friends!


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