2024 vintage report

June 24, 2024

2024 vintage report

Lake Breeze 2024 Vintage Report

The 2023-24 season was highlighted by a dry and warm winter and early spring, followed by a cooler and wetter than average late spring-early summer.

Poor fruit set, combined with some frost damage meant crop levels were well below average, with cabernet in particular almost 70% down.

The only major heat event for the year was in early March with three days in a row close to 40°C, which actually helped to push the remaining reds to full ripeness. The early start to budburst and the low crops meant harvest was a lot earlier than last year, with the cool conditions helping to maintain excellent natural acidity.

The first harvest began with the early ripening chardonnay on the 16th of February, with the shiraz beginning two weeks later. Harvest was actually mostly wrapped up by the first week of April, with only a late fortified crush a few weeks later keeping the crusher from being dismantled early.

Quality looks excellent across all wines at present, the pecorino and vermentino are jam packed with character, and the  shiraz and malbec are the standouts at this early stage.

My experienced vintage crew of Chad and Tasman had a relatively uneventful vintage with plenty of hard work, good cheer and ‘pump-over’ beers.

The period after vintage is also pretty busy with copious amounts of barrel work, cleaning and more cleaning keeping Chad and myself busy.

Tim and Muggy in the vineyard have pruning well underway, as well as helping out packaging and over sticking for a lot of very welcome export orders recently.

My nephew Tyler, (a qualified winemaker) has also stepped in to help me out at the tasting bench, looking at blending options for all of our 2023 reds, which I must say, are shaping up nicely.

Greg Follett, Winemaker