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Balance to our normal working life starts to happen as the harvest is now complete. The wines are finishing, or have just finished their fermentations and are now safely tucked away in barrel. 2012 was a wonderful vintage that should make some truly stunning wines. Most of the summer and harvest vineyard crew return home or back to their studies with a few staying on for winter pruning. The land is very much in a breathing-in phase after a long summer and autumn. Now is the time to allow the soil and vines to take stock and replenish the reserves for another year ahead. The compost that was made over the past 12 months is spread and turned onto the soil to enhance and nourish our valuable microbes. Some winter cover crops are drilled to look after the soil for the harsh winter ahead. New compost is made with the grape skins and stalks left over from the recent vintage, along with green crops we grow on spare land and other organic waste gathered from around the vineyard and winery. The full time staff take a well-deserved short break from the vineyard to recharge their batteries and get their minds and bodies ready for the winter ahead. The single vineyard Pinot Noirs, (Calvert, Cornish Point and Block 3) are bottled this month along with the Bannockburn Chardonnay. The previous vintage wines are released with great excitement and the winery is busy despatching wines around the world. Blair usually does his disappearing act, travelling to conduct winemaker dinners and visit customers in many of our global markets. Winter is fast approaching in Central Otago with thoughts of skiing, curling and a glass of Pinot by the fire!.