Vintage 2023 was one for the record books, being one of the latest ripening and cool, wet seasons in a long time, not to mention drawn out beyond what we anticipated – only just squeezed in before Easter!
Why so different to usual? Well both winter and spring brought about higher than average rainfalls, ensuring that the vines had plenty of water in the soils to draw from at budburst. However, the cool wet spring resulted in a delay to budburst, pushing back ripening more than 2 weeks later than average in many cases.
Mother Nature also got a little temperamental during the growing season, with a few dreaded Spring hail events that created a bit of havoc, resulting in significant loss of crop in some varieties and blocks, particularly Shiraz and Fiano 🥺.
The cool, wet weather also meant that we had more disease pressure from mildew type infections than is normal for our region. We strapped ourselves in and made sure we monitored closely for any damage and kept our copper and sulphur spray programs on a strict schedule. You can see the progression of monitoring for disease in our Fiano from Jen Pedder at DJ’s Grower Services here.
Well you’d think that would mean the wines would have suffered, but thankfully no, there’s actually plenty of good news. Despite it feeling like a bit of a never-ending story for a few weeks there, all of our grapes were safely in the winery just before Easter, even though our first grapes were picked on the 28th of February!
The resulting wines look incredible, with excellent flavour and balance thanks to the long ripening season. I am especially happy with our Grenache and Shiraz. While I wish there was about double the quantity, the Fiano also excelled. I am sure this vintage will go down as a challenging one to manage, but we were also rewarded for our efforts with some excellent wines. Look forward to the 2023 whites being released later this year.
One of the other things cool things to come from vintage 2023 is this year’s vintage t-shirt design. Because this year’s vintage was quite the fickle beast, due to the constant moves we had to make around picking times and weather events, we decided ‘Vintage Moves’ summed it up well, and what better moves out there than classic 80’s hip-hop? So our OT grape is getting his Flava Flav on, complete with boombox and clock chain.
Our staff got right into it too, spending valuable time coming up with their perfect tag to include in the background, with some very funny results, so look closely.
The ‘Vintage moves’ theme also hints at another big announcement that we will have soon – so watch this space…