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Vintage 2024 is looking to be a standout across the board at Narkoojee.


Our vineyard worker Daniel collecting the grapes to take to the winery

From what looked to be a doomed season early on, the weather conditions were against us. A few months later the weather turned to moderate dry temperatures, thus allowing the grapes to ripen steadily. Our winemakers decided on an early pick this year, starting with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this allowed us to pick the varieties at their optimum ripeness. Coordinating with the winery by the time the next lot came in the first was already in barrels and tanks, making a smooth start to Narkoojees 2024 vintage, which everyone was very happy about. Cabernets were picked mid-April, marking the end of our picking season, with the end of vintage mid-May, everything is now in French oak barrels maturing away.


 

Still managing to get firsts 44 years after the first vines were planted at Narkoojee.

Brett, assistant winemaker nurturing the grapes

Our 2024 Shiraz is being co-fermented with a portion of Viognier.  Adding a small portion of Viognier into our Shiraz is not a new thing, our 2021 ‘The Harry’ has 5% added, after fermentation. Co-fermenting these grape varietals together will allow for more integrated flavours and subtle influences on the wine, it also contributes to a silkier mouth feel and helps to stabilize the colour. Our winemakers have always wanted to try co-fermenting the grapes and decided this was the vintage for it.



Not the only new thing to happen this vintage.

500L is the new 300L.

red wine barrels

Moving away from the 225L barriques, we have predominately been using the 300L hogshead barrels, this year we are incorporating two 500L puncheons. Larger wine barrels mean lower surface to volume ratio, there is less oak impact on the wine making a balanced finished product. Smaller barrels generally need to go through blending trials to get these results.  We’re excited to see what results these barrels produce.


But wait there’s more.

This year we’re using natural malolactic fermentation. What malo does for wine is increases the complexity, reduces acidity and increases stability.

Similar to a natural ferment this adds a more subtle influence compared to an added cultured strain. Again, this is something our winemakers have wanted to try and the 2024 vintage seems to be the one for it.

    

We like to keep pushing ourselves and experimenting.

Recent years have seen us trial a more hands off approach to the winemaking, allowing the purity of the fruit to shine through. Past changes have also seen us move into making vegan friendly wines, not only reducing our ecological footprint but creating a more consistent product.

 

What’s happening in the vineyard.    

Work out in the vineyard is never ending, our vines are now in the dormancy stage, which means pruning them back to promote a healthy quality crop the next season. The canes are then put through the mulcher and left under the vines to add natural nutrients back into the soil. We have also implemented more sustainable practices in the vineyard, only slashing the weeds underneath the vines now, this introduces a natural competition between the two creating intense flavours in the grape.

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