Amid drought conditions that ravaged most of NSW, Printhie was really fortunate throughout the growing season for the 2019 vintage. After a really dry winter, we were lucky enough to have rainfall right on budburst in spring when the vines start growing again, and then again during December and January. That set us up for a pretty good season but the warm and generally dry season still had a significant influence and interestingly enough – a positive influence.
Although grapes demonstrated low acidity they had good ripeness and flavour. With clear skies, we were able to harvest what we wanted, when we wanted. For a drought year, yields were fairly normal for Printhie compared to low yields experienced by majority of grape growers in south-eastern Australia.
Another peculiar thing for a warm, dry season is that the white wines have come through really nicely. They have a really nice refreshness and energy. We are looking to capture that in the bottle with varieties like sauvignon blanc which are being prepared for bottle right now, not long after the finish of the fermentation. That freshness and energy is really going to help with the wines that have been barrel fermented like the chardonnay – it’s really looking like a great chardonnay vintage, which is really saying something as chardonnay is a very consistent high-quality wine in the Orange region.
Red wines from the 2019 vintage are looking very promising at this early stage but due to the delicate acid caused by the dry growing season we reduced the amount of whole bunches we used in shiraz ferments because the stalks of the bunches would have upset the fragile acid-pH levels. But now that the wines are through their malolactic fermentation, they are showing wonderful fruit brightness and richness.
We’ll be starting work on bottling some of the 2019 vintage shortly which means you’ll be able get your hands on them as spring comes to life in a couple of months, but there are a bunch of delicious wines currently available including the multi-trophy winning Swift Cuvée, the new look 2018 Topography Chardonnay (which we’ll be telling you more about soon) and the ever reliable and widely available 2018 MR Merlot.