Second harvest for the Cook Family and it was a big one.
The vines flowered in early June and followed with a very good fruit set. It was to be a strong crop but it also meant bunch thinning (green harvest). This brings tears to your eyes seeing bunches cut away to ensure quality.
Bordeaux appellation authorities also mandate the volume of production; for Maine Gazin it is 5,000- 5,400 litres per hectare. Château Maine Gazin has 7 hectares of vines.
It was decided Rosé would be good to do because export demand looked promising.
This meant an early pick of merlot in mid September. Machine harvesting was used for the vineyard. The balance of the merlot was taken off late September, followed by Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in October.
Juice for Rosé needed to be separated from the skins immediately after picking to attain the pink colour. The grapes were put to a large pressing machine and only the light colour juice was directed to the Rosé vat. Wine making for Rosé is fairly similar to white wine with one fermentation at cooler temperature.
The new temperature control system was such a blessing in managing four different fermentations going at the same time.
The scorebook was an overall harvest volume of 35,000 litres.