Gallery: Through the grapevine at Witchmount

THE giant task of harvesting 100 tonnes of red wine grapes began in Melton last week. 

Witchmount Winery enlisted the help of a machine harvester that can pick six tonnes of grapes in an hour. 

Witchmount’s Steve Goodwin, a winemaker for 30 years, says it’s the right time to pick grapes for the winery’s shiraz. 

“The most important decision a winemaker makes is when to pick the grapes. You have to be bang-on in terms of sugar level, acidity level and, most important of all, flavour. The thing about having a mechanical harvester is that you can do the harvesting at night rather than early in the morning.” 

Harvesting will be finished by mid-April. The grapes will eventually fill an estimated 100,000 bottles of wine.