VINTAGE REPORTS

THE GEELONG REGION

2019 Vintage Report

by darren burke, wine geelong viticulturalist

Good rains in winter and spring set the scene for a strong vintage providing plenty of sub surface water reserves for the vines.

Burst occurred at a ‘normal’ time for the region with all developmental stages following suite.

A good rain event in December provided reason to maintain the optimism rolling into the Christmas period.

Alas, that was the last of the rain for the season with a miserly 20mm total for the next 4 months placing vignerons under intense pressure. 

Harvest kicked off mid to late Feb for sparkling base then continued to be fast and furious for the next 4 weeks easing up mid to late March.

Lack of available water resulted in early ripening and modest crops for some. Those with adequate water were able to nurse the vines through some intense heat late Feb, early March providing fruit with intensity and structure.

A strong vintage to be sure with some outstanding Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.

Wines in oak and tank look vibrant and structured with likely long futures compared with ethereal 2018’s now in bottle. Intriguing!!

THE GEELONG REGION

2018 Vintage Report

by darren burke, wine geelong viticulturalist

The bonus for the 2017/2018 growing season was some rains in late summer/early autumn 2017. This did cause some problems for growers with some fruit left on the vine but for the majority set up a strong growing season for 2018 harvest with plenty of sub soil moisture and full dams.

Budburst occurred slightly later than the ‘norm’ with expectation early in the season that harvest would be slightly later than 2017. As we often find the vines naturally caught up in the ensuing months with the likely harvest date pulled back to line up with 2017.

A lack of rainfall made growers heavily reliant on sub surface moisture and stored water sources in the growing season.

The highlight of the growing season was the incredibly fast flowering with bunches good size and full with most expecting above average cropping levels. This lead to some required green harvest and shoot thinning to provide balanced vines.

Harvest kicked off mid to late Feb for sparkling base then by mid-April the last of the Cabernet was picked.

Overall, I would suggest it was a strong vintage across the board, with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Shiraz looking very promising.

Wines in oak and tank look vibrant, with good acidity and freshness.

THE GEELONG REGION

2017 Vintage Report

by darren burke, wine geelong viticulturalist

Vintage for 2017 started rolling in the autumn of 2016. The earliest harvest in living memory from 2016 combined with a drier and warmer March and April resulted in early senescence for the vines.

Above average rainfall in winter and spring set the scene for a strong vintage providing plenty of sub surface water reserves for the vines.

Burst occurred at a more ‘normal’ time for the region with all developmental stages following suite.

A somewhat dry and warmer period finished the year and continued into 2017 resulting in vignerons feeling the pressure due to lack of water. Fortunately, a good rain event in the latter half of January and again in early February provided some much needed respite for the vines enabling veraison and strong ripening to occur.

Harvest kicked off mid to late Feb for sparkling base then lingered into May for some due to large rainfall events late March and early April presenting some challenges for those with fruit still on the vine. Some incidences of fruit not ripening adequately to be picked.

Overall I would suggest it was a strong vintage across the board, particularly with aromatics, Pinot Noir & Shiraz.

Wines in oak and tank look vibrant, with good acidity and freshness.

“In places with low rainfall, limited yields and tricky conditions, you’ll find passionate producers, which is another reason to go – it takes talent and tenacity to turn tough elements into wines of complexity, and Geelong has those in spades.”

– James Halliday