The 2019 vintage reminded us that fundamentally we are farmers who are in the hands of Mother Nature. This growing season and vintage has been one of the steepest learning curves our family has experienced. We were faced with new challenges and through these experiences, we have come out much better and wiser.
We ventured into some unfamiliar territories, with quite different experiences and therefore lots of thorough testing. The resultant fruit quality was brilliant, even with the extremely low rainfalls during the growing season. Our grapes ended up delivering intense flavour profiles and tannin structure and we are seeing this flowing nicely through to the wines that have been placed into barrel.
The lower rainfalls meant we witnessed more wildlife in the vineyard than we have ever seen before. They were searching for water and of course our grapes were a key source of this. With an appreciation that these animals required a source of water and food, we came to a decision to sacrifice a part of the vineyard, where the wildlife could gather and we would not try and scare them away. This proved to be a blessing in some ways, as it concentrated the wildlife to one section of the vineyard during the harvest period and retained our fruit quality through the rest.
I actually feel as though we went through an intensive boot camp over the last 8 months. It was a huge learning curve, but we are now super ready and resourced to take on anything in future growing and vintage seasons.