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Hunter Valley Wine Tours - Swedish Wine Lovers

Starting in Sydney, today I hosted wine enthusiasts Leif & Britt from Stockholm in Sweden in the Hunter Valley during the 2013 harvest.


Britt & Leif at the famous McWilliam's Lovedale Semillon vineyard, which was planted in 1946.


Britt & Leif at the base of the spectacular Hunter Valley's Brokenback Range, with some of the region's very best quality vineyards located along the southern edge.


It may seem counter-intuitive, but machine harvesting often is better for wine quality than hand harvesting - it enables the grapes to be removed at exactly the ripeness that suits the end wine.


It may look a bit 'yucky' but this is the eruption of the CO2 fermentation gas through the cap of the Pinot Noir grapes. As in Burgundy in France, the very best wines are made with quite a lot of whole bunches in the bottom of the fermentation vat.


The cellar fermentation record board tells the story - Vat 14 has about 2000 kgs of Pinot Noir must in process, today at 9:30 a.m. & at 8' Brix of residual sugar & at 25'C - its about 40% through the fermentation & with the cooling plate turned off, its accelerating through to completion.


Britt & Leif checking out the fermentation of a 2013 Hunter Valley Pinot Noir.


Whilst today fermentation vats are made from 316 grade stainless steel, in the 1960's concrete was lined with food grade epoxy paint ....... inert & it works!