September 18, 2006
This vine is painted red to show that it is one of the Semillon vines in our old block
that has bunches of red grapes. In winter, without leaves or grapes the red ones look the same as the green ones. We have taken the prunings of the red grape Semillon vines to grow as cuttings to make a new vineyard, exclusively red.
Red wine is made from grapes with skins that appear to be black. White wine is usually made from grapes with green skins.
A third category is those vines that have red skinned bunches, not as deeply coloured as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. One is these is Pinot Grigio. As the juice is white, we normally make white wine from these grapes.
Semillon can act as if it is colour blind and some vines have white skins and others red.
It is rare to see this today as Semillon cuttings for the propagation of new vineyards have been exclusively taken from vines with white skins. Winemakers prefer to work with the white skins. The red skins have to be handled with care not to get rose wine.
We have a block of 1048 Semillon vines planted in 1972. Of these 153 have red skinned grapes every year. We pick the whole block at the same time and the red grapes are crushed with the white ones.
As the skins of these grapes play no role in the winemaking, we get white wine which we barrel ferment, every year.
The red skinned grapes make no more than 100 litres, too little to fill a barrel. So we’re going to make a new small vineyard – all red.
Posted by graham knox at September 18, 2006 12:03 PM
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