Vintage 2019 was warm and dry. We harvested our first grapes, Chenin Blanc and Semillon, on February 25th. This was shortly followed by the Viognier on the following day as well as Shiraz and Grenache for Rose and the first Shiraz for Clarry’s and Moppa.
The 2019 growing season was extremely dry and warm. In the 12 months to March 31st 2019, rainfall was down 39% on average with only 304mm falling compared to the usual 500mm. Whilst Winter was dry (29% down), Spring and Summer were particularly dry, down 43% and 61% respectively. Spring was slightly (1 degree) warmer than average but Summer was 3 degrees warmer, with a maximum average of 31 degrees compared to the usual 28 degrees. January recorded its hottest day in the 130 years that records have been kept with the mercury peaking at 46.4 degrees on January 24th. March remained dry but importantly not too hot, with an average maximum of 27 degrees. April also remained dry and mild.
The 2019 growing season was the driest we’ve experienced. This last year is in fact ranked in the top 1% of driest years in the past century and a quarter. The dry growing conditions led to naturally lower yields across our vineyards, the Barossa and South Australia in general. Low yields were also a result of a Spring frost, leading to the cold air burning off young shoots and bunches in low lying vineyards. The Barossa yield is down by around 50%. Shiraz was the variety most affected. Fortunately, however, some varieties such as Grenache fare well in warm dry years and still gave good average yields.
Six weeks after it began, vintage concluded on April 9th with the Petit Verdot and last of the Grenache being harvested.
In Summary vintage 2019 was warm and dry with low yields. Importantly quality from 2019 is sensational. Wines are immensely rich and concentrated. All reds show intense dark colour, generous flavour, solid integrated tannins and notable depth, length and balance. 2019 is certainly one to seek out, and seek out early as stocks will be limited.