Wow it really has been a vintage of highs and lows. Things in the wine world especially in South Australia haven't been the same since December 20, 2019. With the bushfires that ravaged the Adelaide Hills wine region and the lower than expected yields across the state due to impacts from hail, wind, frost, storms and heat it is fair to say the humble wine grape has taken its share of battering this vintage.
For us at Wangolina we were protected from some of the worst conditions as outlined above and we are fortunate that we have been able to chip in and help out our winemaking mates in various ways. Whether it be helping to source them fruit from our vineyard or others, checking on grapes during the growing season or just to be an ear for them in supporting them through these difficult times. For me this has been one of the highs of the the vintage as I have had closer contact with many friends talking shop and feeling like I have helped contribute in some small way in their road to recovery whilst being completely distant.
With the yet to be known longlasting impact of COVID19 we started our vintage with the harvest of the Frontignac for Moscato. I am truly grateful that we managed to get most of our grapes off the vine prior to the lockdowns, otherwise things would have been absolutely more complex. The only fruit left sitting as I write this is the Montepulciano and Cabernet. These grapes we will likely harvest over the next few weeks all things being equal but due to lockdowns and an agreement on minimising risk to the production crew, I will not be supervising the crush of these wines. Our wines are made in the Bird in Hand winery so it has been bittersweet that for some of my white wines in production I may not get the chance to relook at them until blending. I am extremely grateful for the guidance, wisdom and ability of Kym Milne and Dylan Lee who will watch over my wine until I can return to the winery.
Pre lock-down I was lucky to be able to grab some samples of the wines we have made so far in 2020 and I am extremely happy with the quality and I can see some really lovely wine being produced. Over the past few years there always seems to be a standout variety (or two) for the vintage and this year I really love the way the Pinot Gris looks, which for me is a total surprise to as I usually gravitate towards the Sauvignon Blanc or Grüner Veltliner. Another standout for 2020 is the Tempranillo. It is so lifted and has such delicacy of fruit. But sadly the volume of the make this year is lower than I would like so when it is released its going to go in a hurry! All of the varieties made at Wangolina are looking fairly balanced and I will be excited to see them to bottle
It has been a hectic few weeks of little sleep and big decisions however it is now nice to be coming into a more stable time. We have seen a lot of change to how we operate Wangolina, with cellar door closed then re-opened on Friday's. Staff working from home, losing our casual staff and then the introduction of a complimentary weekly delivery service to towns in the Limestone Coast. We hope to get back to whatever normal is after it is safe to do so and we look forward to sharing and showing you the 2020 wines as they are released.