Gapsted Estate 2023 Harvest Diaries 5th Edition

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Gapsted Estate 2023 Harvest Diaries 5th Edition

The weather is interrupting our harvest this week so now would be a good time to reflect on the preparation that goes into our grape harvest.

Harvest is our chaotic time of the year, where we are stretched to the limit to receive and process a growing season worth of grapes, often with overlapping timings. Needless to say, aside from hard work and a good sense of humour, preparation is absolutely key!

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

Grape Ripeness and Picking Decision. In the weeks before the harvest, our winemakers are busy in the vineyards, analysing and tasting the grapes. Harvesting grapes at exactly the right moment is an acquired skill and requires patience and knowledge, then a sense of urgency to get them in at just the right time. A common way of testing this is to use a refractometer; a tool that reads grape sugars and acidity levels. At any given point, a winemaker can pick grapes from various points in a vineyard, crush them and rub them onto the refractometer's detector, which will then display the level of potential alcohol and the acidity levels. Depending on the style of wine intended and the predicted weather forecast, winemakers can then make more accurate predictions of harvest dates. Using these numbers as a guide, our winemakers will taste the grapes to make a final decision on when to harvest.

“Wine & friends are a great blend.” – Ernest Hemingway

Andrew Santarossa
CEO & Chief Winemaker


Connor is in Australia from the U.S. on w working holiday, He’s at Gapsted for his first Australian vintage but has also completed a vintage in Matua in New Zealand in 2019 and has also worked at Kombucha factory in Montana and a brewery in Alaska. North East Victoria is the perfect landing place for Connor given he enjoys backpacking and hiking so is spoilt for choice in our region! He enjoys hiking peaks and most recently visited Kosciuszko and Feathertop. At Gapsted Connor is enjoying the variety of tasks he’s been given and being on the press crew has meant he’s across the whole spectrum of vintage activities. Now the reds have started to come in he’s looking forward to working with the barrels. We’re glad to have you on board Connor, enjoy your time exploring our beautiful region!

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