Vintage 2020 - Its a wrap.
We had Drought. This affects the crop size and overall health of a vineyard and is an ongoing issue in so many wine regions. Henty is relatively unaffected by drought.
We had Frost. Early frost can kill the young developing shoots, the vineyard bounces back with secondary shoots but these are not normally as fruitful, and as they start later, ripening is delayed.
We had poor fruit set. We call them inflorescence, and when the vineyard is in bloom it smells wonderful. If the weather is overcast and cool though the berries do not form properly and the yield is greatly reduced.
We had fires. The struggle of the wine industry with fires in 2020 is well known. In Henty we escaped unscathed and so did get a harvest, however industry wide the fires had a dramatic and devasting affect by tainting so much of the nations fruit beyond the ability of anyone to make good wine.
We have Covid-19. When restaurants close, the wine industry has to find another avenue to reach its consumers. Retail outlets are going well and online sales have jumped, however I really feel for the people in the hospitality industry, many of whom already work so hard for so little and are friends. Fingers crossed we can open up soon and get out to support this industry.
The Winery. With all the challenges that vineyards have faced all over the country, those that have picked fruit are optimistic about the quality of that fruit. In my case the wines as they are now - just finished fermentation - are all looking extremely good.
Yields. Growers all suffered small volumes of fruit this year but due to some decisions that went my way I managed to source similar volumes as 2019. I've crushed 10 tonne of fruit total which should produce roughly 650 dozen wines. There is a fairly even split as far as quantity across the rose, pinot meunier, pinot noir, syrah and Grampians shiraz with a little bit more chardonnay than the rest.
Conclusion. My final word on vintage 2020, excellent. We have had very interesting and challenging times during this vintage, however most of those have not affected the volume or quality of fruit I received - I feel extrememly lucky.