I thought it had been a little too long since I last posted a blog on the web-site but I was a little surprised that the last post was about the 2014 vintage. So, I had better whip out a 2015 vintage report before an entire year lapses between blog posts (shame on me!).
Having read the 2014 vintage report, I could write a similar opening paragraph albeit for different reasons. The 2015 vintage could best be described as a textbook vintage. The weather was on our side, the grapes ripened nicely, disease was not an issue, things happened in a fairly orderly fashion and quality was very good. I have to admit that it does not happen very often. In more than 20 years of winemaking I cannot recall many vintages quite like it.
Spring got off to an early and very warm start after a decent winter of rain and cold. The warm spring pushed the vines through budburst, flowering and fruit set in a short period of time. Thus, the tone for an early harvest was set right from the very beginning. The summer unfolded with nice sunshine, a good bit of timely rain every now and again and it wasn’t too hot nor too cold. It was a very pleasant summer in fact. All through the summer, in the back of our minds, we always expected an early harvest.
Early harvests are quite often the result of warmer than average summers eg, a prolonged hot spell that causes the grapes to charge along to a fast rise in sugar accumulation and potential alcohol. This scenario can cause a few headaches in regard to the balance of the wine, tannin ripeness and flavour development.
The early 2015 vintage was quite different. There was no hot spell, no rush of sugar accumulation. Conversely, there was no untimely rain to spoil the party. We were able to harvest each variety at the time of our choosing. It was exciting. Healthy, flavoursome grapes with good acidity and ripe tannins. And so the harvest continued until all the grapes were in the winery. Then it rained! Thank you Mother Nature.
What about the wines? Well, it is early days but they are looking very promising. There does not appear to be a weak link. We are about to start our first good, hard look at wines in barrel and tank before we bed them down for winter and I am rather looking forward to it and I shall report on it well before another year passes by.