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TAS Country : April 19th 2012
ril 20, 2012 15 will be ready to harvest soon, at Rita and Robert Richters' vineyard on the edge of the Tamar Valley. Pictures: KAROLIN MacGREGOR enge at Grey Sands TIME TO HARVEST: Robert Richter checks his nets he said. The Richters produced their first vintage in 1998. ''It took a long time for us to release our first vintage, but that's because I knew the quality of wine I wanted to make and I wasn't prepared to release anything unless it was up to my standard,'' Mr Richter said. They now have about 3.5ha under vines, which can produce anywhere between 600-1200 cases of wine a year depending on seasonal yields. The Richters now produce five main wines, which include their two biggest varieties -- pinot gris and merlot. The Richters also made the decision to plant some pinot noir vines later on and produced their first pinot noir vintage in 2005. ''We didn't plant pinot noir initially but it's such a competi- tive wine to grow and produce and everything has to be right for it to work,'' he said. ''But after a while I wanted the challenge of that and we ended up planting some.'' The Richters also grow some pinot blanc, a white variety, as well as chardonnay, viognier and shiraz varieties, which are used in blends or on their own depending on fruit yields and quality. This season the couple will also be harvesting their first fruit from a new early-ripening red variety Mr Richter has high hopes for --- malbec. Malbec was grown in New Zealand, which meant it hopefully should be successful here. ''I can't wait to see how it turns out because I think it has a lot of potential,'' he said. After losing all last year's crop due to record summer rain, and resulting quality issues, the Richters are hoping for much better fruit this year. Picking started at the vineyard two weeks ago. It will continue for another three weeks as the grapes ripen. Once picked, the grapes are then taken to the Bay of Fires Winery where they are handed over to winemaker Peter Dredge. Mr Richter said Mr Dredge encour- aged a hands-on approach when it came to the wine-making process and they trusted him to produce the types of wines they were looking for. With their main varieties -- the pinot gris and the merlot -- Mr Richter said they had specific qualities they were looking for. ''With the pinot gris, I want it to be a full-bodied wine which is very aromatic and along the lines of the Alsatian region in France,'' he said. ''And the idea with the merlot is that it's a bit more full bodied and some- thing with good colour and tannins that will age well.'' Mrs Richter said each year produced different characteristics in the wine flavour profiles depending on the seasonal conditions and yields. Their vineyard catchphrase is ''Wines Made to Last''. Mr Richter said in many ways winemaking was similar to art. ''It's a funny business because you spend all year working really hard to grow the grapes. ''And then you harvest them and they go off to be made into wine and after all this time and work you put it out there and just hope that other people like it too,'' he said. Most of the wine the Richters produce is sold interstate but they also sell wine from their licensed cellar door on the property. They are not open every day how- ever, and Mrs Richter said anyone who wanted to visit the vineyard was welcome, but she advised visitors to call first to ensure they were home. To find out more about Grey Sands and the Richters' wines, log on to www.greysands.com.au Post Drivers Traili g Spreaders 3P Twi Spi ers Grader Blades OR ORD RS OV R $5000+ R C IV R CO M CHI RRP $349 Offer valid from 13/4/2012 to 11/5/2012. See in store for further details regarding this offer. PHONE NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION FREECALL 1800 335 623 2015505-120420 Rotary Sto e Ra es Bale eeders Cul vators Hay Ra es
April 12th 2012
April 26th 2012