“Relief number one is when the grapes are off the vine and I’m like oh I don’t have to eat grapes for another year.
Tasting fruit every day, trying to get the flavours right can be pretty torturous. This is probably the most stressful time I’m going through; trying to get the reds off skins at the right time and bedded down into the right barrels. Coming into vintage, not knowing what the season’s going to be like, is the most nerve racking time of year. But I need to be nervous to perform.
Every year I get butterflies, like it was my first vintage ever. How’s the fruit behaving? Is it different to other years we’ve seen? And how is it different? And how should I react to that? Should I leave it on the vine longer, pick it a bit earlier? What’s happening with the acids, the sugars, the flavours? Everything’s changing and it’s different every year. It’s kind of like coming into a new experience every single year and that is petrifying.”
Virginia Willcock – Chief Winemaker, Vasse Felix
Image: Sarah Hewer