Ernest Hill Wines 2021 Vintage Harvest Update
Weather in Australia has been in the spotlight in recent years, not for a good reason.
After the 2018-2019 drought came the mega bushfire that lasted almost a year, costing 100+ billions of economic loss, and ironically earned a Wikipedia page of its own. Vignerons are in the first line to feel the financial impact of natural disasters and climate change.
2020 is an unusual year for humankind due to COVID19. However, the weather gods seemed to be more kind when humans were locked down. Despite a lot of rain in the Nov-Dec period in Hunter Valley, 6 weeks from Mid December to the end of January were good with just the right amount of sun to give the grapes a crop.
Ernest Hill Wines 2021 harvest commenced on the 15th of January with Verdelho being picked. Right after, Semillon, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer all followed in the next week. And that was that…..all the whites grapes were picked in less than 2 weeks ;-). Tonnages were down on some whites by up to 20%, except for Semillon which was one of the largest crops ever on the Hill. Good news for Cyril lovers. Grape quality was very good with only a small amount of disease, so all in all a great start.
The second half had proved to be a little trickier!
The rain returned in February and after a few aborted attempts, Tempranillo was picked on February 30th, Saturday. Sadly though, the Merlot block was lost that same weekend due to a combination of heat damage from 2020, hail, and canopy issues. A week later, a sunny Sunday, Feb 7th saw the picking of the shiraz as well as the shiraz for the rosé. A herculean effort unfolded as the pick that was supposed to take 2 hours with an estimated 4 to 5 tonnes stretched out into 4 hours and a harvest of red grapes of 7 tonnes!! The Shareholder's stocks were replenished and all the picking day shiraz was crushed and had finished ferment and getting ready for going into the barrel.
Then it came to the final relief that on the morning of Monday, March 1st, the Cabernet was also picked, which signaled the end of the 2021 vintage!!
So a rollercoaster of vintage has ended with a success. Ernest Hill Wines are glad for the harvest and are looking forward to rolling out the wines from the 2021 vintage in the coming years to bring more quality wines to the Singapore market.
Good wines run fast ^-^. According to Wine Australia, the 2019-2020 sales of Australian wines had exceeded supply, partially because 2020 was a challenging vintage, with production volume reduced, although the quality was good, partially also because of overseas demand.
A few young vintages of daily drinks from the Ernest Hill Wines have already sold out in Australia, but luckily they're still available in Singapore thanks to the support from Father & Son, Ross & Jason Wilson. These are:
Looking forward, we're yet to know how the accelerated climate change will affect future vintages. Something needs to be done to unturn the wheel of change that's not in favor of nature or us.
Updates based on information from Ernest Hill Wines