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The Elderton Wines Blog

Vineyard and Winery Update – October 2020


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Jules Ashmead and Brock Harrison winemakers

Jules and Brock checking a ferment at pumpover

Vintage 2020 wrap-up

There is excitement in the air for the quality of the 2020 wines, where colour and tannin are standouts in the reds and real vibrancy and purity is seen right across the board. Brock, Jules and Damo have been busy getting the 2020 whites and rosé into bottle and bedding down the 2020 reds into oak.

It is with some dismay that again we had a compromised yield due to drought, heat and wind. It is expected that across both 2019 and 2020 Elderton is about 60 – 70% down in average yields, meaning that these wines will be highly sought after simply because there is a real and definite shortage of wines to go around.

The team are excited about the 2021 harvest and have already assembled a group of excited and eager cellar hands for vintage. The winery has also never looked as sparkling new as it does today thanks to some hard manual labour!

Rain positive for vineyards

Now spring has arrived it is all systems go in the vineyard. Our long-term projects get put to the side, as our attention now turns to nurturing the vines through the coming growing season. We have been very grateful to have some good rains through August, September and early October which ensures we have a full soil profile heading into the season. The weather forecasts are suggesting more rain to come for the next few months which will bring a totally different (and very welcome) set of challenges to the past few years.

Our cover crop has now been mowed and will breakdown to provide nutrients and make a mat to shade out weeds. This takes care of the midrow (the space between the vine rows). Undervine weeding calls for a different approach. Here we have had an exciting new development with Peter, Andrew and Steve all pitching in to help develop a variety of tools that are allowing us to reduce herbicide use. It has been a bit of trial and error to find a system that is effective, but we are now finding some flow and will have the weeds under control just as the vines become sensitive to their presence.

It’s a hectic but exciting time of year. The vines will start to grow rapidly over the next few weeks leading in to flowering. Over this time we are hoping to see some of the positive effects of our investment in soil health pay off with healthy, balanced vines producing the highest possible quality grapes.

Steve working hard at our Greenock vineyard

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Story from our newsletter, the Elderton Buzz – October 2020 edition