Vintage 2019 is a wrap, and what a fast and furious vintage it’s been. For the first time I’ve known in all my too-many-to-mention vintages, all my fruit was picked, crushed and fermented within the month of March. Although it was a late-ish start, when it happened, it came on like a steam train! The 2019 reds are now all safely tucked away in barrel and quality is looking a treat.
Today I’d like to give a shout out to my fabulous Barossa grapegrowers, without whom none of this would be possible. Behind every great winemaker is a great grapegrower (or three or four!). Those who know every vine intimately, every peculiarity of every block. Those who feel and understand every fluctuation in the weather more intimately than an expert meteorologist. The growers who know every sod of soil on every block better than the backs of their hands. They’re often in the background, but they are, in my view, the wine industry’s linchpins.
“Those who know every vine intimately, every peculiarity of every block. Those who feel and understand every fluctuation in the weather more intimately than an expert meteorologist.”
This year my fruit came from three star growers. Thanks to them all for continuing to provide high quality fruit in a very low-yielding year, due to canny management and foresight throughout the year.
Thanks to Neil Hahn for Mataro from Light Pass. To Noel Heidenreich for Grenache and Malbec from Vine Vale. And to my principal grower, Steve Kurtz who grows Malbec, Grenache, and all the Red by Caroline Dunn Shiraz, including the spectacular Shed and R6 blocks that make up the Black Shiraz. And also, a good chunk of Shiraz for Dolan & Dunn. The Kurtz Vineyard in the Light Pass sub-region of the Barossa grows exactly the sort of Shiraz I like to make. Bright, fragrant fruit, concentrated flavours, silky textures and just the right amount of glorious Barossa generosity. Can’t wait to show it to you guys! But you’re going to have to be a little patient…
For now, my thanks go out wholeheartedly to each of my growers, but in particular to Steve, whose viticultural understanding inspires me through every day of vintage.