The 2019 growing season was a tale of near misses that ultimately resulted in a large crop that struggled to ripen due to unfavourable conditions during the latter part of September and October.
An unseasonably warm period during February and March brought the vines out of dormancy and bud burst occurred earlier than the average, on the 1st April. Freezing conditions on the night of the 2nd of April appeared to be catastrophic, with some vines showing signs of frost damage. However, as a result of an early growing season and fruitful secondary shoots, the effect on potential yield was likely very small.
The extremely wet weather at the end of May and early June gave way to sunshine just as the vines began to flower (25th June), with fruit set on the whole being very good. The rest of the summer period saw mixed conditions culminating in a settled period through most of September. At this stage it looked as though we would be harvesting a large crop of ripe fruit.
Unfortunately, from the 21st September the weather became unsettled, with ripening all but coming to a standstill. In order to minimise crop losses to Botrytis, picking of Pinot noir began on 9th October and culminated with Chardonnay on the 20th October. As it was raining for the majority of the harvest period and the percentage of rot was relatively high, pressing of the grapes was carefully monitored, with approximately 5% of juice at the beginning of the pressing process being separated to ensure any impact on quality was minimised.
Following the 2019 harvest the winery is now full. In contrast to last year, there is a small amount of tank space remaining that will make the logistics of blending and bottling next summer easier. In addition this year’s installation of concrete tanks to hold reserve wines will help us to create even more layered and complex wines going forward.