Pre-Vintage Report

From the vineyards...

The growing season so far has been reasonably uneventful. A frost event late September resulted in little damage as most varieties had not commenced budburst, and those that had recovered well after well timed remedy. Conditions during flowering were generally favorable for good fruit set, however several strong wind events during November and December has resulted in crop loss through cane breakage and berry damage from rubbing.

Temperatures haven’t been too hot with canopies holding up well with minimal yellowing. Recent cooler temperatures have slowed ripening with first pick on sparkling varietals likely to take place mid-February. Colour development is noticeably slower this season which is an indicator that harvest decisions will be made with this in mind. Rainfall has been very low during the growing season, with the last useful rain event early October last year. This will impact on yields with restricted berry and bunch sizes across most varieties. All equipment has been serviced and we are eager to make a start.

Steve Fiebiger, Head Viticulturist

From the winery...

Mid to late Summer in the Barossa is filled with the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of vintage. Looking across to our Eden Valley vineyard, just up the hill from the winery, precious Shiraz grapes are changing from vivid green and pea like in appearance, to plump, purple, juicy beauties. I can hear the local bird life as they scan for something to eat, whether it be insect, grass seed or our ripening grapes! Tractors can be heard as final preparations are done in the vineyard before the first pick of the year. This time of year, brings winemakers to the vineyards too, sampling bunches and tasting berries, crushing berries and smelling juices. All in aid of deciding the perfect time to pick each batch to make the best wine we can.

2021 looks likely to be a fantastic Barossa vintage. We have a slightly smaller than average crop, and with the extra winter rain during June and July last year, the vines are looking healthy and balanced. With luck on our side the mild conditions that we’ve seen through December and January will continue, allowing the grapes to ripen at a slow, even pace. A lot can happen in a few weeks, but if nature is kind over the next couple of weeks, when the first grapes arrive at the winery we will see amazing quality and another outstanding year for the Barossa.

Peter Kelly, Chief Winemaker