McLaren Vale 2020 Vintage Report

The season began with good winter rainfall, followed by a mild start to spring. The start of the growing season was drier than average the third year in a row. With rainfall 20% below average, we also experienced a low disease risk, such as mildew.

November was extremely cool and some welcome rain helped canopy growth. However, flowering time was prolonged, which led to some hen and chicken in the shiraz but more notably in the cabernet sauvignon. Grenache handled flowering conditions well and fruit set was excellent.

Summer arrived on 17 December with four days in a row over 40°C. This triggered the end of shoot growth in the vines and they directed all of their energy into berry development. January saw above average rainfall and below average temperatures. This allowed grapevines to gently ease themselves into veraison.

A summer storm system produced some lovely rain in early February. The vines were well into veraison and the rain pumped up the berries a little, which provides flesh and lift fruit flavours. As we entered the final ripening period, nights were cool, which helped to retain natural acidity.

We started harvest on February 20th, hand picking some Tempranillo, and then a delay of 2 weeks before the Shiraz had developed the necessary flavours we needed, before it was picked.

We finished harvest in the first week of April and the result has been wines of intense flavours and colour, but only half the volume of a normal year.

Please note McLaren Vale has not suffered any smoke taint issues.


Harvest report with the courtesy of our member: Maxwell Wines from McLaren Vale

Picture: Mark Maxwell

McLaren Vale
McLaren Vale
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