2018 Vintage Report from Bruce Tyrrell – Edition 1
Mon, January 15th 2018 / No Comment
The 2018 Vintage is now into its second week. We started picking on Wednesday, 10 January which is three days earlier than last year. As I look out the window at the bare paddocks we could not be any further away from 2012 and 2015 if we tried. This Vintage is as a result of one of the driest growing periods since the mid 2000s, and we have had less than 150 millimetres of rain from Easter 2017 to now. The only real rain fell in November / December, and I would give my left arm for an inch or two of rain this afternoon. The vines however still look in good condition, and if we get through this next weekend (three days of heat) then we will be OK.Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night we picked Chardonnay on Penfold Vale and a little bit of Pinot Noir for sparkling base. On Thursday morning we picked 10 tonnes of the best Chardonnay on Penfold Vale for Blanc de Blancs sparkling. We picked 101 tonnes from Penfold Vale last year and 104 this year. Friday morning we started picking the Chardonnay here around the winery, and by tomorrow morning all of the Vat 47 will have gone through the basket press and into the winery. Last night we picked the first of the Verdelho and our little bit of Traminer came in this morning both picked at exactly the same as last year, and a little higher than we expected.
The concern for the moment is the hot weather at the end of the week, and what that will do to the sugar acid levels in the Semillons. What we seem to be seeing is dehydration only, and the vines have really stopped working. We have got a huge sampling today, and from that we will make the decisions where to pick for pretty much the rest of the week. If all goes to plan we will have all the Chardonnay picked by Thursday, and three or four of the top Semillon blocks picked by Saturday. The Pinot Noir is not quite ready, and will probably be picked Thursday or Friday.
There is not going to be anything light and green and delicate out of 2018!