The Scott Henry trellising system is used. Syrah is quite known to be vigorish and needs firstly a low vigor site, which we have, and then a trellising system that can cope with its large canopy. Scott Henry allows the canopy to be split so some is train down as well as the traditional up. The effect is to unfold the canopy like a hinge and so open it up to the light. Most of the fruit is in the middle and this area is 100% leaf plucked to expose the grapes to the sun.

We prefer not to heavily trim the canes as we are looking to maximise brix and flavour development (they are not the same)

We average 20 bunches a vine and crop at around 1.5 tonnes per acre which is very low but you notice it in the wine.

Most of our work is done by late January.

By then we will have completed
a) Shoot positioning and thinning in early November.
b) Positioning of the canes for Scott Henry with the canopy split and tied down late November.
c) Lateral thinning.
d) 100% leaf plucking in fruit zone usually completed by early December at fruit set.
e) At the same time some initial crop adjustment is completed by taking off any extra flowers, no more than two per cane, usually one and any flowers on weak shoots.
f) Final crop thin early in January with some leaf plucking to tidy up.
g) Veraison is late January and the nets go on around the 20th.
h) In February we will check for any green late fruit and remove but nearly all of these are really dealt with at e) and f).

The practices above are aimed to influence the mouthfeel of the wine make it fuller and silky or velvety as these come from the grapes not the winemaker.

Viticulture influence on the wine:

1)

Cropping at 1.5 tonnes an acre makes Serine a concentrated wine, which is full on the palate.

2)

The tactile sensations associated with tannins in the mouth and the effect of the higher levels of tannins in red wines gives what is frequently described as palate structure.

Full and early bunch exposure to the sun helps change the tannin structure from monomers to polymers producing better mouthfeel or silkiness. Serine especially the 2004 is very silky.

Tannins seem to be responsible for mouthfeel and the sizes of the tannin molecules that are in the wine are thought to contribute to the type of sensations we get. The building blocks of tannins are flavan-3-ols, primarily the catechins. Catechins are found in berry skins and in the seeds so is extracted during fermentation.”

Berry exposure influences skin and possibly seed catechin content so that through leaf plucking one can manipulate to some extent the building blocks of tannins that can be found in the wine. It is the degree to which these individual catechin molecules (monomers) are linked together to form polymers is responsible for the type of mouthfeel associated with the wine.

3)

Anthocyanins make up the majority of (red) coloured compounds found in grape berries. Research has shown that the anthocyanin concentration in grapes increased linearly as sunlight exposure increased.

Hence fruit exposure and the state of the canopy are important to good colour. The 2004 from the hotter year of 2004 and with more leaf plucking shows much more colour than ever achieved previously. Generally anthocyanins are up by 40% with exposure, but exposure changes more than just anthocyanins.

4)

Anthocyanins and related flavonoids can associate with each other to form more intensely
coloured and stable compounds - definitely an advantage when colour is at a premium. Exposure of grapes to the sun results in enhanced flavonol synthesis, particularly of Quercetin
derivatives.

Dr Neil McCallum of Dry River has written of the benefits increased levels of Quercetin brings, as it is also a contributor to flavour and releases those flavours over time. Better still Quercetin is a prime contributor to the health benefits of wine.

It is clear from that sun exposure – both heat and light - has a significant effect on the phenolic composition of grapes.

In the case of our wines we have achieved deeper colours with softer and fuller mouthfeel, flavours are cleaner and more complex. It would seem it is also healthier!!

Our aim in the vineyard is to ensure we produce the best raw material for the winemaker.