Grape growers and wine producers are in the front seat of the epic ‘climate change’. The discussion is happening across the globe as vintage dates begin earlier almost year on year, as to where this is going and what will be the impact on ‘traditional’ regions tied to traditional grape varieties. This year will go down as a tipping point in the Tamar valley. Although budburst seemed fairly usual or even a bit late we had the most glorious weather in November with mild night temperatures that we have not experienced in our 30 years in Tassie. Wearing shorts and tee shirt after sunset in November was positively eerie!
Dryness for us started to become an issue by the end of January but the vines held on until some good falls in March. What has stood out is the aromatic intensity of flavour in the berries, across our range of varieties, that I haven’t seen before. Merlot was harvested on the 6th of April compared to the 27th of April last year! So a ‘reserve’ Merlot is envisaged for such a special year. We brought in the late reds on the 10th of April compared to the 1st week of May last year. Now we can bring in the bird netting and just have to wait until the leaves fall before starting pruning. A bit of time off won’t go astray in the meantime.
We hope to have some new wines available for Club members in November. There will be a 2017 Pinot Blanc, 2017 ‘white’ Pinot Noir and a Shiraz Rose to spice up our line-up. Not many small vineyards can offer 10 distinct varietals and blends to their customers…so you will be spoilt for choice!
I will blur the line between blog and newsletter by reminding customers that I am a true ‘terroir-ist’. On our bottle labels it says ‘Grown exclusively on the property’. You won’t see that much nowadays, at least not in Australia. Grapes have a habit of wandering all over the winemaking landscape. To some it makes no difference, as long as the wine is ‘good’, but to me it makes all the difference in enjoying and understanding wine. So when you open a bottle of Grey Sands wine you are tasting wine made from grapes that originated from a specific site on the planet with its unique climate, soil and a myriad of other site specific features found nowhere else. To get a feel for what I am saying have a look at the YouTube clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex7ti87NVTY our son made for us last year, and of course keep tasting our wines! I hope that over time we have delivered a cohesive narrative through the wines themselves despite the roller-coaster ride that Tasmania’s weather delivers at vintage. You might like to read Bob’s latest Blog https://www.greysands.com.au/bobs-blog/
View of Grey Sands from entrance