What started as an early start to vintage, slowed down with some unseasonal rains allowing the vineyards to recover from heat. This was followed by a cool slow ripening period, keeping the grapes longer on the vines, increasing fruit intensity and flavour - always a good thing. Now we are in full swing with the cellar on 24 hour shifts. Dan, one of our vintage interns tweets "My hands are finally getting leathery, discoloured and generally manly. Thank you #v14@shawandsmith"!
Challenging vintages show the extraordinary value of years of experience and knowledge. Ray Guerin (Viticulturist of the Year 2013) and winemaker, Adam Wadewitz have just come from the Woodlot vineyard, Balhannah and believe its some of the best Sauvignon Blanc flavours they have seen. Chardonnay looks like the stand out variety for the season. We are still a couple of weeks off picking the shiraz and although the yields are looking low, Ray and Adam are excited about the potential quality.