The South Coast’s most awarded vineyard achieved another first this month as it continues to try new things. After being advised by its winemakers to plant Riesling a few years ago Coolangatta Estate has picked the first grapes of that variety in its 28th harvest which will conclude with the reds in March.
Greg Bishop and Ben Wallis said the quantity of grapes for the 2017 vintage is down but they are pretty happy with the quality overall as well as the new Riesling grapes as they continue to try new things. “We picked a very small batch of Riesling. It is only going to be 50 cases. We took 900 kilos of fruit off it which is just a trial run this year but everything looks okay. We don’t think it will be out on release straight away. With only 50 dozen we might just hold into it for a little while. It is going to be an ageing wine like the Semillon. So this year is probably more an experiment,” Mr Wallis said.
The Riesling vines are located near the prized block of Semillon which produces one of the most awarded wines in Australia.
So Mr Bishop has given the new variety every chance in what he knows is a great location.
“Tyrrells talked us into planting it,” he said.
“We haven’t got a lot in but they suggested it thinking very strongly that it is going to be really good for us. It is through ferment now and the winemakers are pretty pleased with it.”
Mr Bishop said overall he was really happy with the quality of everything picked so far even though it will be a much smaller harvest than recent years.
Mr Wallis said the 2017 harvest started with bubbles (grapes for the estate’s sparkling wine) being picked at the end of January just before Australia Day.
“We then picked Verdelho a fortnight ago but it was only half a load. We haven’t been getting big crops this year. The grapes are looking really good. And if the weather is kind we would like the get a Rose Frizente off again”.