Every year we make one of my favourite wines, our Wahgunyah Shiraz. Affectionately known as the RIP, which is short for Ripasso. This is an Italian technique of passing a wine over the just-pressed skins of something riper and sweeter. The effect is a second fermentation, additional time on skins and a whole extra source of complexity. The resulting wine tends to have extraordinary colour and a hefty dollop of alcohol. We have never really been into the fad for super high-octane reds just for the sake of it, and really enjoy making something with a bit of history, culture and interest behind it. That said, we wouldn't get to keep doing it unless the results were worth the investment in time and energy. The good news is that the St Leonards Wahgunyah Shiraz continues to be really popular, selling out every year.

Late last week we drained a parcel of really rich Shiraz before it was completely dry, left the still-sweet skins behind and refilled the fermenters with some of last year's Shiraz from our block behind the Chinese Dormitory. It is always a nervous time as yeast can be fickle things and have a tendency to turn up their metaphorical toes when stressed (being single celled fungi, they actually don't have toes, or even noses). Will the ferment kick off again or will I be left with five thousand litres of sweet, funny-tasting wine I can't use? A couple of days ago the cap began to rise again and the wine was fizzing and frothing merrily. We'll press it in another week or so when the fermentation dies down again.