Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mad dog wines

Now to our own wine. Our label is called ‘Mad Dog’, we have released 5 vintages so far, with the first vintage being 1999. We did not produce a 2000 vintage. The 2005 will be released later this year. Our Mad Dog Shiraz has had some very impressive reviews. We have been growing grapes here for nearly 100 years and that experience is used to select the parcel of fruit that goes to make our Mad Dog. We hand prune the vines to fairly low bud numbers in winter. In spring we carefully monitor for pests and diseases and treat as needed. If needed, before flowering, we will go through and do a hand shoot thin to ensure even light penetration into the canopy. Just before verasion we do a light hand bunch thin, this is to ensure even ripening of the whole crop. We monitor our soil moisture levels using Capacitance probes and only water to prevent the vines going into moisture stress, we continue monitoring each irrigation to ensure we are only watering the known root zone of the vine. We do all this to provide the vine with the optimum amount of water without wasting water or over watering our vines. As harvest approaches we work closely with our contract winemaking team, sampling the whole block regularly to ensure that we pick at the optimum time to get flavor ripeness rather than just picking when we achieve a predetermined sugar level. We carefully harvest and deliver the fruit to the winery usually in less than 2 hours to ensure the fruit arrives in the best possible condition for our winemakers to work with. So far this philosophy has worked very well for us and we have only positive feedback on our wines. Because of the very small quantity we produce it is quite hard to find our wine for sale, if you would like to try some drop me an email and I will try to let you know where it is available near you. The picture at right shows some of the Mad Dog brains trust sampling the yet to be released 2005 and 2006 Shiraz and the very limited 2006 Sangiovese that will be bottled later this year. From left are my sister and her husband and my father.

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