This time of the year is known as 'Budburst'. It's when our vines wake from winter dormancy to begin a new growing season.
Over these months the vines flower, producing a beautiful smell across the vineyard and then produce tiny bunches. By late October to early November, the fruit sets.
At this stage, our developing grapes look like small green peas. It's difficult to imagine that these hard green berries will be turned into wine come the new year.
This period of time is known as 'veraison' - where the ripening berries become soft and fleshy, and begin to turn their purple, red and golden colours.
Once the extreme temperatures arrive, which is often in the dead of night, the harvest of the naturally frozen clusters begins. The precious grapes are then pressed in the extreme cold to extract the luscious nectar. In this process, the water content in each grape which is about 80% remains frozen as ice crystals. These crystals will remain inside the grape during pressing puncturing the skin for added flavours. The resulting juice is highly concentrated and rich. Icewine yields are a mere 10-15% of an average table wine harvest. Slowly fermented over the coming months, this delicate nectar will eventually become Icewine.
With the grapes harvested and the weather turning cold, the vines slowly return to their dormant state. Hand-pruning continues.