As many of our customers will know it was quite the start to the 2020 vintage, with smoke from local bushfires filling the Alpine Valley Region. Our surrounding vineyards were saved from the fires, but were so badly tainted from smoke that they were unable to be harvested.
Luckily, there’s always beacons of hope, and our growers and the local community have rallied in times that are tough. Whilst we ideally want all our wine to come from within the Alpine Valley appellation, we made an exception this year and were able to secure a small amount of fruit from outside the region but still within Victoria. There’s some interesting new varietals from the Chalmers Vineyard in Heathcote, a small amount of Gewürtztraminer from the famous Drumborg Vineyard and some exceptional Shiraz from a long term friend and grower in Bendigo.
Despite being in close proximity, the Upper King Valley had much lower smoke density, so their vineyards were not as badly impacted and we were able to make some white wine from there. Currently we’re harvesting some of the Croucher vineyard Riesling which will be the only ‘normal’ wine that we’re able to make this year.
It’s still been action stations in the winery as we’ve bottled and prepared to release some new parcels. With Jo about to give birth to her and Glenn’s first child the team have stepped up and there have been some fun to be had, with some new varietals to discover. We had about one tonne of each of Sagrantino, Lagrien and Lambrusco Maestri to play with thanks to our friends at Chalmers, and there’s still stock from previous vintages to enjoy.
My winemaking repertoire now sits at about 55 varietals! Whilst 2020 vintage is done and dusted in our winery, it leaves me ready to take on the next challenge, motherhood! Bring it on….