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From the Winemakers...
Kim Horton & Dougal Herd
Another year flies by and vintage is almost upon us again with Vintage 2019 shaping to be one of the more interesting years.
Climatically, in a nutshell, the season has been cool and dry. The five months until this point at the end of January have yielded little rain, about 70mm less than this time last year.
The cooler weather has also disrupted flowering and fruit set resulting in much smaller bunch sizes and high incidence of hen and chicken. The cooler conditions have continued into January, and January 2019 average temperature of 21.3 is two degrees Celsius lower than the 23.3 of 2016.
So what does this mean? With still much of the season to unfold, anything is still possible, however we are bracing ourselves for small crops of intensely flavoured fruit, especially in whites, and keeping our fingers crossed for an Indian Summer to ensure good ripeness of flavour and tannin in the reds. It also must be noted the distinct lack of Eucalypt blossom this season will create bird pressure and fruit netting will form the basic defence against crows and silvereyes.
2017 Dragonfly Grenache Shiraz Mataro
A blend made famous in the Rhône Valley of France, Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro are blended to make a juicy, vibrant and fresh wine blend of medium body and clean tannin. Whilst we have had Shiraz planted at Willow Bridge since 1997, Grenache and Mataro have been recent and exciting additions grafted in 2015. For the two cultivars, we chose sites on the vineyard which maximise heat exposure, giving the best opportunity to ripen and express full array of flavours. Mataro is a late ripening variety, so the extended period on the vine is essential. Grenache is a prolific yielding variety requiring fruit thinning to achieve best balance of quality and tannin.