The 2020 vintage will perhaps be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Crop levels were at historic lows due to frost and poor flowering, which was compounded by a super dry year. We were between 50% and 60% down on average, making this the lowest crops I can remember.
On the positive side of the ledger, it was a trouble free harvest and the quality of the wine looks outstanding at this point. Also we were free of fires and smoke taint which affected many around the country.
The weather, as we all know, has thrown a few curve balls at us and it seemed this year was no exception. Summer really began in October and finished in January this year.
We actually had 65mm of rain in about 2 hours on January 31, which heralded the start of autumn with February being one of the coolest on record.
We were concerned the rain would cause problems, but it turned out to be a godsend and gave our vineyards a refresh leading in to harvest.
Vintage was quite compressed with a later start than last year but an earlier finish, partly due to the extremely low crops.
There were plenty of long days in the vineyard for the boys picking fruit which unfortunately wasn’t filling the fermenters very full!
The bunches this year had quite small berries and intense flavours with high natural acidity, which has led to some beautifully defined wines with a generosity of fruit. Cabernet is once again the hero-variety with the shiraz and small volumes of grenache and malbec not far behind.
We have had some of the best opening rains in years since Anzac Day, which hopefully heralds a more normal year weather-wise.
The COVID-19 outbreak mid-vintage really did not affect our small crew at all. At vintage we are basically isolated for two months anyway and with a team of three in the winery and three in the vineyard, life continued as normal. Obviously, it was a different story for our cellar door.
photo | John Kruger Photography