Vintage 2017 was an extra special one for us because we were able to crush our own grapes at our brand new, on-site winery! 

The 100 tonne capacity winery was built with our business partners, Tim and Sheena High of Native Point Wines. 

We were a little relieved that vintage started a couple of weeks later this year. But thanks to good project management, our wonderful builders (d2Spaces) and terrific suppliers, the 100% solar powered winery was completed just in time for vintage. 

With brand new equipment, powered by solar, a lot could have gone wrong but it all went pretty well. Unusual weather conditions throughout the growing season had led to yields being down in some varieties but warm and dry conditions leading up to harvest were very welcome. 

Here's a look at Vintage 2017 in pictures (all photos were taken by us with a trusty iphone!): 

Warm, sunny Autumn days were a welcome start to vintage. We were ready to make wine, powered by the sun in Tasmania's first 100% solar powered winery!  

Warm, sunny Autumn days were a welcome start to vintage. We were ready to make wine, powered by the sun in Tasmania's first 100% solar powered winery!  

A big moment: the first fruit gets tipped into the hopper. This is Pinot Noir from our sister vineyard, Native Point at Swan Bay. The site is close to the river and very warm, one of the earliest ripening sites in the Tamar Valley. 

A big moment: the first fruit gets tipped into the hopper. This is Pinot Noir from our sister vineyard, Native Point at Swan Bay. The site is close to the river and very warm, one of the earliest ripening sites in the Tamar Valley. 

This is Pinot Noir clone 114, note the small, tight bunches and small berries. Some of the fruit was kept as whole bunches to add more tannin structure to the wine. Pinot Noir yields were down this year due to a cool wet Spring and uneven Summer temperatures. 

This is Pinot Noir clone 114, note the small, tight bunches and small berries. Some of the fruit was kept as whole bunches to add more tannin structure to the wine. Pinot Noir yields were down this year due to a cool wet Spring and uneven Summer temperatures. 

Chardonnay for sparkling wine was next to arrive. Stella oversees the fruit as it travels from vibrating table to hopper. 

Chardonnay for sparkling wine was next to arrive. Stella oversees the fruit as it travels from vibrating table to hopper. 

Just in time delivery. Our tanks arrived from Italy to be craned in to the winery. 

Just in time delivery. Our tanks arrived from Italy to be craned in to the winery. 

Sexy, shiny tanks in place

Sexy, shiny tanks in place

Video (1 min): Our mate Don lends a hand in the winery with the important job of plunging pinot noir. This is where we turn over the 'cap'- the grape skins, into the juice that has settled below. This is done a couple of times a day early on in the fermentation process to maximise colour and flavour extraction.

Video (24 secs): Measuring the density of sugars in the grape juice and temperature are indicators of how a ferment is progressing. Baume is checked twice a day in the early days of fermentation using a hydrometer and thermometer.

Set up for night shift. Elevator and crusher/ destemmer on the left, press in the centre. 

Set up for night shift. Elevator and crusher/ destemmer on the left, press in the centre. 

Foggy mornings lead to a bright sunshiny day. Warm, dry conditions with only afew days rain made picking decisions easier this vintage compared to other years. 

Foggy mornings lead to a bright sunshiny day. Warm, dry conditions with only afew days rain made picking decisions easier this vintage compared to other years. 

The viticulturist and the winemaker. Sheena and Julian taste the Native Point pinot noir ferment. 

The viticulturist and the winemaker. Sheena and Julian taste the Native Point pinot noir ferment. 

Time to press the first pinot noir ferment. Lucky its only a small batch- shovelling from fermenter to press is tough work for the winemaker. 

Time to press the first pinot noir ferment. Lucky its only a small batch- shovelling from fermenter to press is tough work for the winemaker. 

Empty French Oak barrels waiting to be filled in the barrel room. 

Empty French Oak barrels waiting to be filled in the barrel room. 

First batch of pinot noir goes into barrel (after a small adjustment to the hose with a screw driver) for malolactic fermentation. 

First batch of pinot noir goes into barrel (after a small adjustment to the hose with a screw driver) for malolactic fermentation. 

Pinot Gris 2 ways. Tank fermented on the left, barrel fermented on the right. The barrel allows more air in to the wine causing oxidation. 

Pinot Gris 2 ways. Tank fermented on the left, barrel fermented on the right. The barrel allows more air in to the wine causing oxidation. 

The ultimate green juice. This is freshly squeezed sauvignon blanc in the juice tray. The aroma is pungent! 

The ultimate green juice. This is freshly squeezed sauvignon blanc in the juice tray. The aroma is pungent! 

What they don't tell you at winemaker school: winemaking is really 70% cleaning, 10% moving hoses and pumps around, 10% forklift driving. You do the maths. 

What they don't tell you at winemaker school: winemaking is really 70% cleaning, 10% moving hoses and pumps around, 10% forklift driving. You do the maths. 

100% handpicking at Moores Hill. With Otto supervising.

100% handpicking at Moores Hill. With Otto supervising.

The tough life of a wine dog. 

The tough life of a wine dog. 

While yields were down in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Riesling flowers later so yields were at normal levels. Dry conditions meant botrytis wasn't a problem this year. 

While yields were down in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Riesling flowers later so yields were at normal levels. Dry conditions meant botrytis wasn't a problem this year. 

Tim lends a hand in the messy job of cleaning a tank

Tim lends a hand in the messy job of cleaning a tank

81kw hours of battery storage means we can keep the winery working through the night. 

81kw hours of battery storage means we can keep the winery working through the night. 

ABC TV News dropped in to film a story on the progress of vintage 2017

ABC TV News dropped in to film a story on the progress of vintage 2017

Checking on the progress of the Chardonnay fermenting in barrel. Not a bad office for our winemaker to work in. 

Checking on the progress of the Chardonnay fermenting in barrel. Not a bad office for our winemaker to work in. 

Last day of picking for 2017: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Big bunches make for easy picking. 

Last day of picking for 2017: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Big bunches make for easy picking. 

Table set in the winery for a post-vintage lunch with the Crush Fine Wines team from Melbourne. 

Table set in the winery for a post-vintage lunch with the Crush Fine Wines team from Melbourne. 

Post lunch hi-jinks in the Cabernet ferment

Post lunch hi-jinks in the Cabernet ferment

Sometimes things go wrong. All the winery equipment had performed really well, right up until the last day of processing when the pump stopped working. Oh dear, more mess to clean up.  

Sometimes things go wrong. All the winery equipment had performed really well, right up until the last day of processing when the pump stopped working. Oh dear, more mess to clean up.  

Good night, big moon

Good night, big moon