It’s no secret the Australian wine industry has taken a beating over the past year – one of several casualties of restrictions across hospitality both here and overseas, as well as tariffs effectively closing Australia’s biggest wine export market.
With such uncertainty in the air, Vintage 2021 felt a little different to previous years (even against 2020) - the urgent phone calls to find any extra fruit even after some recent small vintages seemed to evaporate. This year, the appetite to take advantage of extra available fruit disappeared as many wineries found themselves very carefully managing intake against forecasts, contract commitments and in some cases, space availability.
Thankfully, for our regions we source fruit from, the weather has been kind. In a La Linea cycle which typically means a cooler wetter summer, we were initially a touch nervous, although in South Australia, we experienced the cooler conditions, without the rainfall – we managed lovely long ripening conditions, with flavours and sugar staying in balance. With no extreme weather events forcing us to pick earlier (or later than we would like) as well as fruit being ready in a staggered way, we were able to keep pressure off the winery and ensure optimal time on skins before pressing each ferment and putting wines to barrel.
The winemakers I am talking to share the confidence I have in 2021 Vintage – it is an absolute cracker and one to watch out for – and just the tonic for an industry in much need of some good news!