Wine & Vine Update
Vintage 2020 has been both one of the most remarkable and challenging vintages I can remember. The catalyst for this was the driest spring and summer almost on record. With the lack of sub-surface moisture the vines grew rapidly with vine physiology moving so quickly it was hard to keep up. We arose from the post-Christmas period to the realisation the grapes were swiftly approaching ripeness and resultantly we started to plan for harvesting toward the end of January. The first whites picked were from our Chardonnay vines for the Blanc de Blanc base and this occurred on the 4th of February, the earliest date on record for the estate.
The fruit has been amazing in concentration and flavour and the winery is full of wines of power, grace and poise. It’s an exciting time of year for the estate with optimism and confidence exuding with the prosperity of a new vintage.
Earlier in May as the summer days slowly give way to cooler nights and brisk mornings the estate transforms from a rolling sea of green leaves to a golden palate of auburn colour. This signifies the start of the dormancy of the grapevine and the senescence of the leaves. To the naked eye it appears as the vineyard is dying, however this couldn't be further from the truth. As the above ground part of the vine shuts down the below ground part of the vine starts the growing season again. Accumulation of vital nutrients in the root zone, storing of carbohydrates in the roots and extension of the feeding roots is occurring as the vine starts planning for vintage 2021. As viticulturalists we assist where we can - spreading organic mulch, aerating soil and planting cover crops to provide crucial organic matter. Hand weeding and manual cultivation occurs as required. Some think the vineyard is asleep, we know it's more alive than ever.
Working with the owners, Steve and Hayley, we’re thankful of another stellar harvest and look forward to sharing the wines with you over the coming years.
Ryan Aggiss, Chief Winemaker at Aravina Estate