by Samantha Payne
in Winemakers, Wines
6 Mar 2015
So Vintage 2015 is upon us and we've seen around this fair country the full gamut of weather being thrown at our winemakers, the fruit is starting to come into the wineries (and in the case of NSW- all the fruit has been picked!). I had the pleasure of visiting some of our winemakers to see what they had to say about #V15 and some of my thoughts on what I saw.
Gardners Ground, Canowindra, NSW- From Herb Gardner “The harvest is coming to an end and we picked our 2015 Shiraz on 20th February. It is looking good and the weather is settled. The chardonnay was picked earlier and it is looking good and dedicated to sparkling.”
Little Wine Co., Hunter Valley, NSW - From Suzanne Little “2015 Hunter Valley vintage was a rollercoaster ride of despair and triumph. After substantial rainfall in late December and early January we thought we were in for another 2012. But the skies cleared and although there were a few causalities most of the good vineyards pulled through. For us the alternative whites and reds fared better than the Semillon and Shiraz with Viognier, Vermentino and Tempranillo being the standout for us.”
That was the thing I noticed about the Hunter this vintage- the rain. It seemed almost relentless, it’s going to separate the good winemakers from the great ones. Those who picked too early you’ll see it in the wines, they’ll be green, tart and astringent. So those who trusted their grapes to battle through the elements will have great wine this vintage- there will just be less of it. That’s the beauty of Suzanne and Ian working with alternative varietals, they’re so resilient to the sometimes harsh Australian climate.
Holm Oak, Tamar Valley, TAS- From Bec Duffy “Vintage looks like it will start in about 3 weeks’ time. Earlier than normal for us. So at the moment we are busily bottling to make space for what should be a big year.”
The beautiful thing about the Tamar Valley is that it’s very nestled from the elements, frost isn't a huge problem thanks to the large bodies of water near the vineyards. There are many things you can control in a winery and the process of making wine, but just like life, weather is never one of them. So the fact that Vintage is coming in early and still having all the beautiful characters in the fruit is a testament to Bec and Tim’s site.