Vintage is a magical time of year with the hopes and dreams of the 12 month cycle there for all to reap.  This growing year has been challenging to say the least.  During flowering the vines we buffeted with high winds – causing many flowers to break and thus not forming grapes.  So from early days the general view was for a low tonnage harvest.  Then mid summer, 2 heat waves with periods of 40+ degrees caused concerns with vines shutting down and if without water causing concerns for the vines survival.  Then when a disaster seemed unavoidable a period of mild weather rolled in.  This mild period has really been the saviour.  Many wineries were concerned about having to pick everything at once – in most cases winery capacity is dependent on the usual variation of picking times for the various grape varieties an example is Shiraz is normally picked, fermented and pressed before Grenache is ready to be picked.  Then to add to the issues this vintage seems to have been some sort of boom for birds.  Discussing the effect of bird strike generally has indicated there is more loss of production by birds than most people have seen for many years.  My theory is that the food normally available for the birds was diminished during the heat waves during the summer.

With all this who would grow grapes!

Anyway the general view is low volume of wine but very happy with the quality.

Last vintage I got heavily involved but this year I was less active.  Still I managed to assist with crushing some Shiraz at Genders McLaren Park Wines plus picking Shiraz at Marius.

Machine Harvested Genders Shiraz


Genders “Crushing” system

Then hand picking at that wonderful Marius Vineyard.

Marius Picking

Note the bird strike – the birds plunge their beaks into a grape and suck a significant amount of the sweet juice.

Bird Strike