This would have to be the warmest seasons (summer/autumn) that we have experienced since establishing the vineyard in 1988. Luckily, heavy spring rain had reached deep down to the subsoil, because without irrigation we are at the mercy of the weather.

Shrivelling in the Pinots (Gris & Noir) reduced their yields considerably, but the later varieties (Merlot, Malbec, Shiraz and others) basked in the sunshine, grateful for the big downfall of rain we got at the end of Feb.

This season was probably not so favourable to the more delicate fruit of the Pinots, but for the Merlot & Malbec this vintage should be indicative of the fruit quality from warmer vintages we are likely to see with the continuing effects of global warming.

The 75mm of rain we received over 3 days at the end of Feb took the pressure off the vineyard and saved our garden (we had our open weekend on 20 & 21 April), but unlike in 1997 when a hot summer was ended by a heavy autumn rain event, the weather this year turned dry & warm again = no botrytis in the vineyard.

An interesting phenomenon this year throughout the Tamar Valley has been intense golden autumn foliage in all vineyards. Usually different varieties colour differently, but this year there has only been a smattering of colour in our Pinots and even Merlot. The Malbec & Aglianico vines have been aglow with fiery orange, red & deep pink leaves … hopefully the wines will be equally colourful! Our website is currently being rebuilt and when complete there’ll be lots of new photos..

Our autumn Open Garden went very well. A lot of plants were a little ‘confused’ by the continued warmth after the heavy rain & drop in temperature … so we had mollis azaleas with their autumn coloured foliage AND flowers, rhododendrons in flower and a new flush of flowers on our roses. Most of the plants/trees that colour in autumn had begun changing so visitors could enjoy quite a kaleidoscope. West Tamar Rotary again helped us make the weekend a success. Bob has been encouraged by the positive feedback to expand the garden and we have been busy getting it started.

On July 1st, we will be releasing our new wine, The Mattock. This wine is a bit of a departure from our usual style of reds, in that the aim is to make it approachable when young. Some winemaking changes have resulted in lower tannins (our fruit is always high in colour & tannin). It is a blend of Merlot, Malbec & Cabernet Franc.

We have named it ‘The Mattock’ in memory of Bob’s Dad (Ron) who passed away last September. Every year, Bob’s parents would come down in June. Mum would mind our sons inside and Dad, Bob & I would plant vines. As we don’t irrigate, we had to plant rootlings rather than cuttings, so each vine needed a hole dug and that was Dad’s job, wielding the mattock. There was often banter between Dad & Bob about the mattock and ‘it’ always sent Dad a greeting on his birthday card in May, in anticipation of his arrival!

Tasting Notes May 2013.
Deepest red with strong purple hue, this wine has lifted aromas of plum, cherry and rose/rosehip syrup floral notes. The palate has intense mouthwatering upfront fruit, soft fresh tannins and some savoury oak to balance.
Dates for your diaries where you can come & try our wines
• June 1 & 2 The Red Wine Weekend , 12-5pm Princes Wharf 1, Castray Esplanade
(Franklin Wharf), Hobart 

• July 20 & 21 Taste of the Tamar in Hobart, 12-5pm
The Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, 77 Salamanca Pl, Hobart 

Tasmania Unbottled 2013 : 

• Tuesday 30 July 2013 – SYDNEY, Dockside at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour
• Thursday 1 August 2013 – BRISBANE, Emporium Hotel, Fortitude Valley
• Monday 5 August 2013– MELBOURNE, Zinc at Federation Square, Melbourne
• November 9 & 10 10.30 am to 5pm Spring Open Garden

As Bob & I have now both retired from our off-site jobs we are more likely to ‘be around’ … if you’d like to visit us, please ring the night before you’d like to come just to make sure we are here.

Bob & Rita