Harvest at Kelman Vineyard takes place in January and February. As dawn breaks, teams of pickers gather with pruning shears, hats and water bottles, ready to take on the day. Some days it can easily reach 35 degrees Celsius by 11.30 am. It’s hard, sweaty work and very rewarding. I remember the 2018 harvest well.
You get used to the feel of warm grapes spilling juice over your hand as you cut out the bird strike, shirt wet from juice and sweat. Rivulets ran down under my old panama hat and behind my ears. Hot sun burnt the back of my legs as the temperature rose from 22 – 37 degrees. Black plastic boxes filled and emptied in a routine as runners moved up and down the rows. Playing leapfrog with other pickers as we work the rows, looking for the best fruit. It gets competitive! Trails of vine leaves and discarded bunches where the lorikeets have stolen their share.
I’m so much looking forward to the 2019 vintage and the feeling of satisfaction as you see pallet loads of pristine grapes making their way to the wine production sheds. Wondering how good this vintage will be. Watch this space for an update in a few months.