Vintage 2021 Wrap-up

The sun is setting on Vintage 2021. We've now harvested all our grapes, and we just have a couple of pressings to go.

The season started out with good rain in early spring which set things up for the growing season, and then summer was fairly mild with about average rainfall....until the end of February and into March when we had some big rain events. The first 50mm of rain at the end of February was helpful in relieving some water stress in our unirrigated vineyard, as February had been dry up until that point. But the next lot of 50mm in early March was a bit less welcome due to the increasing risk of bunch rot in our reds, which were still on the vine. We got away with it though, and rain at this late stage doesn't have too much effect on the yield or flavour intensity, but just slows down ripening a bit.

Then, just as the Durif was ready to harvest - more rain! Durif can be quite prone to bunch rot, as the bunches are tight and tend to cluster together, reducing airflow. And we just physically could not pick them fast enough! All our grapes are hand harvested, and with basically no backpackers around, there was a smaller pool of workers available. We had a good core team of locals for the season, but we had to urgently find a few more people to help, and still only managed to get about two thirds of it off before the rain set in. It was then about a week before the rain stopped enough for us to have another go. Thankfully most of the fruit was ok and only a small amount had to be dropped on the ground.

So, it's been a rollercoaster, but we are really happy with the quality of all the 2021 wines.