2021 Vintage Update
Vintage 2021 is shaping up superbly, we had some really good rain over winter which set us up for some beautiful early growth and healthy canopies. Our dry grown bushvine grenache at Blewitt Springs has just started to go through veraison (which is where the berries begin their ripening process and start to change colour).
The team has been working hard in the Willunga 100 ‘Blindspot Vineyard’ this year with a few upgrades and changes. Most excitingly, late last year we planted a new section of Grenache – cuttings of nearly 100 year old bushvine Grenache were taken from the much loved ‘Smart Vineyard’ in Clarendon where we make our single vineyard Clarendon Grenache. They were planted into the sandy soils of the Blindspot Vineyard and we’ve been keeping a close eye on their growth.
The Smart vineyard has been looked after by the same family for 3 generations and has been the source for many well regarded McLaren Vale Grenache vineyards – we were really grateful to get cuttings from a vineyard with such amazing pedigree. We hope that once it is established we can line it up side by side with the Clarendon Grenache to highlight the impact location has on the wine.
Stay tuned for more vintage updates!
Willunga 100 Winemaker
Vintage Report 2020
This year we had lower than average winter rainfall followed by a dry and warm start to spring. This meant that canopy vigour was reduced and crop levels were down. We had a few warm days during flowering with some hot northerly winds which heavily impacted fruit set, with the exception being Grenache, which had only a small reduction compared with average.
December had some extremely hot days which saw some of the vines experience a little bit of stress, but then temperatures through January and February were very mild, which gave us a prolonged ripening period allowing for good development of flavour. A very timely couple of rain events late January and early February gave the vines a much needed replenish to get them through the rest of the season.
All of the grenache vineyards we source from are dry grown bush vines, despite the dry weather through flowering and veraison, they held up exceptionally well. Fruit looked far more regular than other varieties, and the bush vines had good shoot growth with healthy canopies. One difference from previous years was smaller berries and bunch size, resulting in a nice concentrated flavour. The cooler ripening period has also meant we held on to some really nice natural acidity.
McLaren Vale was very lucky to avoid any impact from the bushfires – with fires being both south of the Vale on Kangaroo Island, and north of us in the Adelaide Hills. Early smoke taint testing was undertaken as a precaution and we were grateful to have been spared as a region.
As a general overlook, the 2020 vintage tracked a couple of weeks later than what we have seen in more recent years, with our first harvest being the Blindspot grenache for the rose’ on the 28th February, closely followed by the Tempranillo on the 2nd March. The majority of the remaining fruit came off in the last two weeks of March with a total of 76 tonnes being crushed for 2020.
In general, we should see a lot of very high-quality wines come out of McLaren Vale this vintage – I think everyone will just wish there was more volume!
Help us to support our local bushfire relief funds
Here at Willunga 100, we have been shocked and saddened by the recent devastation caused by bushfires across Australia. The losses experienced in our homeland, especially around Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island, have touched us deeply and our hearts go out to all our colleagues, friends, fellow producers, growers, and all those directly or indirectly affected by these tragic events. The road to recovery will be long and hard but as an industry, we will pull together and support those in need. In solidarity, Willunga 100 will donate $2.00 from every case sold on our website from January through to June 30 to the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal and Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund.