We saw a great start to the season with good rainfall over the 2019 winter, replenishing the subsoil moisture level. Spring weather continued to be cool, which caused poor flowering and not all berries developing on bunches. This had a significant effect on yields, resulting in one of our lowest harvests on record across all varieties.
In contrast, the rest of the country had significant challenges with the bushfires of the 2020 Summer. Several regions have reported smoke tainted grapes as a result, which Coonawarra was fortunate to not be effected at all. The cooler start to the season meant that harvest was delayed by around 2-3 weeks. The whites were picked in early March and the reds followed in April after an unusual 2 weeks mid vintage without picking. We had one of the driest March rainfalls on record, which was perfect ripening conditions. April saw a few small rain events with further delayed ripening, with the last block of Cabernet being picked late April.
The small berries and low crops was great for quality, with intense concentration in the wines and the long season leading to perfect tannin ripeness. There has been great natural acidity retained in the whites and the Cabernet in particular has great varietal character and depth.
Overall, the wines are looking great and we are fortunate to get the small yields that we did considering the drought, bushfires and frost that effected some other regions. This, overlaid with the COVID-19 challenges, will make it a memorable season but with the resultant wines being a positive take home message."
Luke Tocaciu - Winemaker and Owner, Patrick of Coonawarra