by Jules Ashmead, Head of Production – Winemaking & Viticulture
2022 is certainly a vintage that rewarded patience. Our harvest in the Barossa only began on 12 March with Shiraz from our Greenock vineyard. With sugars accumulating steadily and the ever-present threat of rain; added to earlier hailstorms and a brief hailstorm later in the ripening season that left our Greenock vineyard quite exposed; there was a definite urge to get on and pick grapes!
In holding off and staggering our picks, we were able to take advantage of the very mild summer conditions which included very few days over 35°C. Fortunately, rain stayed away for the most part allowing harvesting until Easter to pick the bulk of our fruit. Vintage 2022 finally came to an end with the harvest of our Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon on 20 April.
We took ownership of some new closed cement fermenters – known as ‘Tulips’ – which have been in action and now hold two of four parcels which are still on skins. These are selected plots of Command Shiraz and Helbig Shiraz. Nico Velo Tulips are fermenters that are inert, fully insulated and temperature controlled and can form a closed environment for complete management of ferments! They are perfect for smaller parcels of fruit where a large fermenter is not suitable. And an advantage of being able to hold wine on skins is the ability to build palate weight and soak up all the tannin (and hence mouthfeel) possible from the skins and seeds.
Our annual ‘Broken Shovel Award’ for the hardest working cellar hand went to Paul in 2022! We had a celebratory meal at Ember Pizza when vintage was finished.
We are currently stabilising our Riesling ahead of bottling at the end of the month. Our Eden Valley Chardonnay is tucked away in barrel, being stirred and contemplating a little malolactic fermentation. For the most part, our reds are all now tucked into barrels and will slowly progress through to malolactic fermentation also, with the first early batches already through.
We look forward to sharing our 2022 wines with you.