PRE-VINTAGE THOUGHTS FROM BROCK
A cool and wet start to spring set up our four magnificent vineyard sites nicely heading into summer and the 2023 vintage.
The cooler conditions resulted in flowering across all of our Barossa and Eden Valley sites being around 2 – 3 weeks later than average. This means we are in for a later start than normal this vintage.
On the upside, Adelaide has some amazing events such as Fringe and WOMADelaide that most winemakers miss out on at this time of year, so we don’t have to ditch our social lives just yet!
Summer saw the occasional burst of heat, and at the time of writing only one extended period of 35+ degree days.
Despite the tricky conditions, overall vine health is excellent with our new plantings out at Greenock really benefiting from the cooler and wetter spring. The warmer and drier weather conditions over the next few weeks will be important to progress ripening, to hopefully avoid the ‘all in at once’ scenario.
The winery is looking clean and sparkly and ready for the challenge that awaits with vintage. Our first pick was on 15 February with Chardonnay for our E-Series being picked and delivered to the winery in pristine condition. We are already excited for vintage 2023 after seeing the quality of juice coming out of the press!
IN THE VINEYARD
What a wild season it has been so far! Barossa as a whole has been exceedingly lucky with how things have gone.
The rainfall through the end of last year was more than double the long-term average. There were signs of waterlogging on some patches and we were struggling to get tractors into vineyards for fear of getting bogged! But the vines have loved the volume of water and are well set up to hold through to harvest, after the ground finally dried up.
There were rumours of disease outbreaks around the region, but our vineyards have happily stayed clean and healthy.
The cooler weather meant flowering was delayed and seemed to drag on this year. Thankfully this was in a dry spell, so fruit set and yields looked to be good. Unfortunately, some other regions flowered during the December storms and haven’t fared so well.
The addition of Wilton Hill vineyard has added an extra element this year. There are always quirks and features to vineyards that can take a while to get to know. The site is stunning and wines made from the vineyard are sensational, so we are all keen to see some fruit come in to the winery.
We would ordinarily be talking about starting harvest before the Buzz comes out, but with the cooler weather things aren’t likely to really be kicking off until late March for Barossa. The slow ripening will hopefully give Jules and Brock some really amazing fruit to work with in the winery. Fingers crossed the warm, dry weather holds.
Story from our newsletter, the Elderton Buzz – March 2023 edition