McLaren Vale Vintage Report


vintage report


“ 2018 touted as one of the best of the decade

The vintage in McLaren Vale is being touted as one of the best of the decade, producing wines of excellent quality, across the core varieties.

And what worked so well for traditional growers seemed to be magnified across our partners organic and bio dynamic vineyards.

Collectively the McLaren Vale grape-growing and winemaking community, live and breathe the “big three” red varieties - Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Combined they represent around 80% of the region’s wine production and each were blessed by the 2018 season.

At this early point we are scoring the vintage between 8 and 10 - near perfect. And our best sites are going to be as good as it gets in terms of the premium fruit our region produces.

Grape quality was well set up with a good wet season in 2017 meaning healthy, lush vines and well set fruit bunches. This was followed by an ideal dry season this year, preventing excessive vigour and any associated disease problems.

Summer and early Autumn were unusually dry, with as little as 10mm of rain from 1st of January to grape harvesting in the middle of March.

Fortunately, McLaren Vale growers have access to multiple water sources, including recycled water, which allows for timely irrigation - and our core organic vineyard sites seem to thrive in drier seasons. 

Favourable summer ripening weather featuring daytime temperatures in the high twenties, with cool nights, produced premium fruit, in perfect condition at harvest.

The excellent condition of fruit, picked in the cool of evening and immediately transported to the winery, has allowed our winemakers the freedom to take time and give full consideration and care in the winery.

Crop yields were 15-20% down on Vintage 2017, which was a bumper crop compared to average. The yields recorded this year are in line with the averages picked from 2010 to 2016, however the fruit quality on the lower yields was superb, which shows in the outstanding 2018 vintage wines produced.   

Leon Hill