Vine Whisperings of the 2021 vintage
Current feedback from the Paddock on the 2021 Vintage.

When you speak with the people in the paddocks you get a very clear understanding that things are looking much better this year than last year. It is all sounding very promising and most wineries are optimistic that they will be able to pick good fruit and produce some award-winning wines. 

The positive news is very timely for many of our customers who have been concentrating on building their recurring revenue through Wine Club Memberships. They have also taken back control of online sales and the promotion of cellar door visitations.

The past 12 months have thrown up many challenges, but our winery clients have focused on what they can control and that is Direct to Consumer Sales. The result is a 38% growth in this high margin sales channel and a lot of re-engagement with the local community.   

“Life is never perfect but small wins hopefully grow into bigger wins”

I have attached a brief paragraph from a cross-section of our winery clients, on how the current vintage is progressing around Australia. This current info has been provided directly from the paddock.

All Saints Estate & St Leonards Vineyard

With the recent weekly rains, the Chardonnay has ripened beautifully, and so we decided to pick the All Saints Estate Chardonnay last Wednesday morning. Then on Thursday, we picked the St Leonards Chardonnay and then the Carters Vineyard Chardonnay. Carters will be made into wine in its own right for the first time, so that's the one to look out for later this year. We will probably pick the Semillon and the Riesling this coming Friday, followed by Shiraz later.

We had significant rain last Friday, and so have been walking the blocks over the weekend and early this week to ensure the remaining fruit in the vineyard all looks happy. As always at this time of year, I have my fingers and toes crossed for Mother Nature to be kind until all the grapes are inside.

Nicholas Brown | Winemaker & Owner  Rutherglen Vic

Bream Creek

Courtesy of the La Nina weather pattern across much of eastern Australia, we have had a relatively cool season with quite a lot of clouds. In southern Tassie it has been relatively dry, so we have been irrigating our vines to keep them in top condition. At present we are just starting to net our earlier blocks of Pinot Noir to protect the grapes from birds – an absolute necessity! Crop levels look to be around average – so we anticipate good flavours as it looks like being a slow ripening season and the vines are not showing any signs of environmental stress. Picking of our grapes for sparkling is likely to commence in early March – but for now, it is back to bird netting!

Fred Peacock | Winemaker & Owner  East Coast Tasmania.

Passing Clouds

This season is shaping up quite nicely. Much heavier fruit load than last year, fuller, bigger berries and bunches. It has been a relatively cool season to date, so we are looking forward to some warmer weather. Our fruit is clean with no mildew, for which we are glad, particularly in a season such as this. Further afield to our Bendigo vineyard and things are even better, with the vineyards looking better than I can remember.

Cameron Leith | Winemaker & Managing Director Macedon Ranges Vic

Delatite Wines

Vintage; 2020 was our lowest vintage since 1983 (when we only had half the area planted!) of 40 tonnes. So 2021 is looking soooo much better at around 160-180t…..and boy do we need those tonnes to fulfil all the orders from our wine club members!

A pretty cool spring and summer (to now), after good rainfall from Autumn to mid Spring, has set all the vines up for a great vintage. Pinot noir is starting to go through veraison (along with Tempranillo which is seriously weird) so harvest looks like it’s back to a start date of the first week of March (as in the ’70s and ’80s). Good average shoot length, with average bunch weights and bunch numbers, makes me think it will be a great vintage. Fingers crossed that everyone is having the same experience and can get the pickers and cellar hands they need.

David Ritchie | Managing Director Mansfield Vic

Tscharke Wines

The growing season despite being dry has been relatively kind on the vineyards. Forecasted yields are up on the last couple of vintages however it’s not likely to be better than average. We expect fruit to ripen earlier than average and harvest to be fairly condensed. The potential for better than average quality is high and now only at risk of being spoiled by significant rain events, let’s hope the weather can hold off now until harvest is complete.

Damien Tscharke | Owner / Winemaker  Barossa Valley, SA

Cofield Wines

The growing season had been quite idyllic really – thankfully no issues with the smoke that we faced last year. We were probably running 1.5 weeks behind normal until 2 weeks ago when a hot spell pushed things along quickly. We were intending on starting to pick the Chardonnay next week, but we have just had 3 inches of rain – so that may push it back a little. We are now hoping for a dry spell so that we can start harvesting. I have been very impressed with how early the flavours appear to be this year, from the few grape samples I have seen. Here’s hoping that continues and we can get some nicely flavoured and balanced wines into the cellar in the coming weeks.

Damien Cofield | Owner  Rutherglen Vic

St Aidan Wines

Things are going really well in the Ferguson Valley since we reopened from Covid shutdown. 2021 is shaping up to be another great vintage. Although we have had some very hot weather, the present cool change will slow and enhance the last part of ripening. The crop is clean, with no powdery or botrytis to date. All of our nets are on, and the Marri is just starting to flower, so we hope the pressure from birds will also be minimal. The fruit flavours at the moment are looking fresh and bright, so fingers crossed for a great harvest starting in the next couple of weeks.

Philip Smith Proprietor | Dardanup WA

Information Collected By. Ian Martin Commercial Manager / vinCreative