News & Events

2015 VINTAGE REPORT

Vintage Report 2015

One of the many things I love about wine is the connection with nature, the fact that you are so influenced by all that is around you. Discussions about the weather are not just time-fillers, especially coming up to vintage, they are vitally important, and once again the weather through the season had a fundamental effect on vintage 2015.

The vintage will be remembered as one of very low rainfall and small crops of clean, intensely flavourful berries. As with the harvest of 2014 it was an early vintage, which is what you would expect with small crops, but there were a few factors that made this one quite unique.

Firstly we had quite cool conditions through the flowering period as well as some rain on December 10 and 11, which is right in the middle of flowering. With the pollen falling to the ground this seems to have contributed to the low crops but there were also low bunch numbers which may have been a response to lower carbohydrate reserves in the vines after the larger 2014 season. It is hard to determine the primary reason but because of a number of influences the crops that were set in December were significantly lower than recent years.

Once we were through the middle of December the temperatures picked up and we had a phenomenal summer, with slightly higher than average temperatures and low rainfall. The rainfall numbers were significant and by the time that vintage finished we had received only about 40% of the Long Term Average rainfall. One thing in particular that has been noted is that over the decades the rainfall is getting lower in March, which is a key time in our harvest and has been making life easier, and giving cleaner grapes.

Smaller crops per vine give a lot of benefits such as more open bunches to help airflow and minimise disease pressure and ensuring that the fruit fully ripens earlier in the season before the weather turns or frosts starting closing in the season. In the winery it also makes for an easier harvest as you have tank capacity to keep everything separate and we are all less stressed and have time to make the right decisions.

Harvest for Mahi kicked off on March the 20th which is pretty well ‘average’ which shows that the temperatures were not extreme, considering the crop level, and proceeded at a pretty relaxed rate until we saw a significant rainfall coming through on April the 9th. By then everything that was still out there was ripe and ready to go so we went to double shifts and managed to get everything in while clean and flavourful.

In the winery this year we had a great team from the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand and we have been tasting through the finished ferments already and are very excited by the depth of flavour that we are seeing across the varieties.

It is too early to say yet exactly what the wines are going to look like but at this stage we are cautiously optimistic and believe that 2015 will go down as one of the classics.

Brian

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