It’s an odd mix of relief, elation, crushing fatigue, and thankfulness that befalls winery owners, managers, winemakers and cellar hands when they know that they have harvested and crushed the very last cluster of grapes. I imagine the feeling would most closely resemble the state of an athlete upon completing a triathlon. It is in this state in which my conversation with Wild Goose General Manager Roland Kruger takes place.
“Thanks for supporting us for the season and the year,” says Kruger. “We look forward to seeing everyone in the springtime.” This spirit of thankfulness extends to the team that worked the vineyards and handled the crush for this vintage. “I have a photo of my crew and the last bin [of grapes each year]. It’s very special.”
How was the 2012 vintage at Wild Goose? “The new vintage is looking absolutely fantastic. Things ended amazing and it was certainly one of the nicest falls we’ve had in years. Every year is different. Mother Nature never throws you the same pitch.” With a wet early summer, things looked a little uncertain. However, we were blessed with an amazing later summer and a stunningly warm and extended autumn! It took a while for the grapes to ripen, but the wait was worth it and both sugar and acid levels ended up being perfect!! At the end of the season the grapes were harvested at a slightly earlier date as compared to last year.
The new wine shop, with its unique and spectacular view of the vineyard, was a huge success over its first summer and the extra cellar space right underneath it was well used for the first time this vintage. Winemaker Hagen Kruger now has a new lab, storage area, and space for fermenting reds, all in the same building as the white wine production.
~ Luke Whittall