Pinot Noir grapes April 2014
Lane's End Vineyard derived its' name as a result of being located at the end of a country road called Mount William Road. Mount William Road winds its way around the foothills of the Macedon Ranges town of Lancefield in Victoria Australia.
Lane's End Vineyard was originally planted in the mid 1980's.
Located at 580 metres above sea level on the southern slopes of the Great Divide, the vineyard is perfectly suited for the growing of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Here's their story
"Our philosophy is very simple ... to produce the best possible fruit from our vineyard and with minimalist intervention turn these into the highest quality wine possible.
Results came a little sooner than anticipated with our first Barrell fermented Chardonnay, the 2005, winning gold medals at numerous wine shows and the Laurie Williams Trophy for Best Wine of Show at the Macedon Ranges Wine Exhibition in 2008.
We have seen that by harnessing the great potential of our fruit, we can make wines that compliment foods and our lifestyle.
You can buy our wines online by clicking on the "Buy Wine" page above.
Howard Matthews & Nicki Ralph
2014 Vintage Update
Good winter/spring rains have created high moisture levels in the subsoils. Reasonably consistent follow up rain has created ideal start up conditions for the forthcoming vintage.
This year we have adopted a non-herbicide approach to the vineyard. More work for us but better for the vines. By not destroying the under soil root systems undervine and leaving the clover/grasses above the soil, an increase in soil nutrients occurs which keeps worms and small microorganism numbers at a much higher level, thus enhancing soil quality and consequently the health and vigour of our vines.The other advantage is that weeds naturally get crowded out by the competing forces of the grasses and clover.
Increased spraying of Seasol- a natural kelp derivative- has helped also increase the nutrient input of the vines, producing strong canes and increased size and number of inflorescence
Budburst occured around the start of October. A major frost occured on October 18th that spread all the way up to the Riverina. Fortunately Lanes End wasn't affected but others in Heathcote, Ballarat, Daylesford and parts of Lancefield were.
Flowering started the first week of December. This is when bunches are formed. We pray for stable warmish weather with not too much wind or rain. By the end of December we should know more about how the bunches have set and possible bunch numbers.
Initial flowering of Chardonnay inflorescence
So far the vines are a picture of health with no signs of any downey or powdery mildew.
Flowering went well with good fruit set due to not much rain or harsh wind over flowering. The bunches are now almost closed but with very little rain and plenty of hot weather, we have had to irrigate periodically to sustain normal plant function. The very hot week during January was stressfull on some of the younger vines planted in the last 1-2 years, so water management there is crucial.
Veraison should start occuring in the last week or two of February, so the nets are being readied for the Pinot Noir especially. Once the crows start standing on the end posts, it's time to gets the nets on!!
We have just bottled our newest wine to be called Lane's End Isanda Chardonnay 2013. This is an earlier picked style enhancing the apple, citrus, pear aromas with a steely acid backbone. This wine is similar to the wine style from Chablis with prolonged time on gross lees (with stirring) over nine months without any oak input. Of course it's not Chablis, it comes from Lane's End terroir! More news on this wine and the release date later this year.
All the vines are now covered with nets to keep all our feathered friends out! An arduous process, but without the nets we would be on a hiding to nothing!! We are looking at starting picking in the first or second week of April. Now that the morning and nights are cooler, this allows the slow but sustained ripening of the fruit. This gives rise to a much broader spectrum of flavours due to the slower ripening, as compared to warmer regions where the grapes ripen much more quickly.
The winery is all being cleared and cleaned up for the oncoming vintage. The 2013 vintage of our barrell fermented Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have just been bottled. It's amazing how good it feels when the wine is finally in the bottle! A mixture of it finally being in the bottle after all the work to get it there and an air of expectancy for its next exciting phase of life. The wonder of wine never ceases to amaze!
The rain gods certainly let go with 63mm of rain in 2-3 days around the 10.4.14. Picking had to be delayed to allow the bunches to dry off. By the next week it has all been picked with no damage visible to any of the fruit. The Pinot has now been destemmed and is just starting to go through primary fermentation (wild yeast of course!) after a few days soaking on skins and some stem.The Chardonnay juice has just been placed in the barrells for its turn. We are leaving them to go wild as well with more solids in the must to help kick start the ferment. All going well, the Pinot will be basket pressed into barrells in a couple of weeks whilst the Chardonnay's primary fermentation should be complete in about a month. Looking forward to the post harvest feast!!