2021 Vintage is Almost Here!

2021 pre-vintage report

I sat down with Ben this afternoon to pick his brain a bit about what is happening in our vineyard and what his thoughts are on the prospective harvest ahead. We’re getting a lot of questions about what’s going on in the vineyard right now, so here’s the juice straight from the horse’s mouth!

“The weather has been ideal this year, a cooler summer with our extremely cold Lenswood nights. No real extreme heat events and a few light recent rains all adds up to exactly what we want. A long, slow ripening process which delivers intense flavour.

The recent sprinkles of rain have meant irrigation has mostly not been required, from now on as the grapes complete their ripening process we won’t be putting any extra water out on the vines to maintain the concentration of flavours.

Crops are sitting at ideal levels, if we average across the vineyard we’re looking at approximately 3 tonnes of fruit per acre, which is ideal for our site.

Breaking this down a bit more specifically per varietal:

Sauvignon Blanc is cropping a little lower than usual, with small quite tight bunches. This means a smaller total production but more intensely flavoured wine should be expected (excited by this, quality over quantity is a great thing! -SP).

The Pinot Noir fruit is greatly benefiting from the open canopies* in the vineyard. This is allowing the mild sun to reach all the bunches and bring a great colour intensity to the skins. Average to low cropping levels helps maximize the expected intense raspberry flavours to develop.

This year’s Chardonnay bunches are quite large and open. The recent rains have helped maintain a good crop size and like the Pinot Noir the grapes are making the most of the open canopies* with a lovely golden sheen beginning to shine on the bunches.

At the moment we’re in the vineyard doing tests a couple times per week, making sure we’re keeping a close eye on the ripening process as the beginning of harvest looms.

The expected harvest time is looking like early to mid March. This is a long way behind our neighbouring regions who have already commenced harvest. This shows clearly the huge difference that our unique cool climate has on the ripening of our grapes. That long, slow ripening allowing a vast range of intense flavour all the time it needs to develop. This shows in the end result of our wines.”

As an extra timely titbit, while Ben and myself were discussing the vintage today we had a random drop in from David Brown, one of Brian (Ben’s Father) Anderson’s mates who helped put in the original strainer posts and irrigation lines here 27 years ago! He now lives in Darwin and wanted to come check what had happened here in the last few decades (a lot). He also helped pick the very first crop off of these vines! Brownie's enthusiasm for the hard work he'd done in the past paying dividends today is a pretty great example of our motto, 'Where dirty work becomes pure pleasure'.

*For those not up with all the wine terminology,open canopiesrefers to the way we trellis and thin our vineyard. You’ll see when looking at our vines now, they are arranged and trellised vertically. Training wires are pulled up to ‘open’ the vines, and some leaves are plucked away exposing the grapes to the sunshine. This is completely different to if you visit our northern neighbours in the Barossa Valley for example, where they’ll allow a thick canopy of leaves to overhang like a verandah to keep the grapes shaded. Even though we’re only a short distance apart, the climate is totally different! We want the sunshine, as it’s mediated by our cooler days and ice cold nights. -SP