Rutherglen enjoyed good winter rainfall in July and August, with above average spring and early summer rainfall, particularly in November and early December. There was talk in agricultural circles of another La Nina weather pattern, along with predictions of summer and autumn rains, leaving us feeling very nervous about the prospect of another wet vintage. Fortunately, January through to April proved to be incredibly dry and very warm, which allowed all varieties to ripen fully and with very low disease load, contributing to the high quality of the vintage. Yields were low, with some varieties (particularly Shiraz) cropping between 30-40% below average. Overall we were around 15-20% down across the vintage. Due to the warm and dry conditions, supplementary irrigation was required to maintain good soil moisture levels and canopy health.
Vintage was back to an earlier start, commencing on 16th February, with Pinot Grigio from the Alpine Valley. From there, vintage rolled on fairly briskly, seeing us harvest fruit every day for the next five weeks, until the end of March. Ripening across all varieties was very even, with most white fruit being harvested before the red fruit was started. The last fruit harvested was Muscadelle for our Topaque wines, picked on 23rd April.
Quality is high, with white wines showing intense fruit aromas and flavours, and good levels of acidity. Our red wines have fantastic colours, great fullness and depth of flavour, ripe tannins and length. Our Portuguese varieties for our port styles performed very strongly this year, our Muscats are rich, with genuine varietal characters, while our Topaques are outstanding.