It is incredibly exciting to begin releasing the first of the 2017 wines and also to reflect on
the just completed 2018 harvest and growing season. During these reflections we can also
look over Bindi’s progression as our vineyard and winemaking knowledge have matured.
Here and now, we find ourselves after 30 consecutive years of planning, hard work and
dedication blessed with a run of outstanding quality vintages culminating in the fabulous
2017s and extremely promising 2018s. There is no doubt that several kind seasons have
been an enormous gift, however the fine tuning of processes, like under vine ploughing,
composting and extra attention to detailed canopy management have maximised these
The 2017 season was a beauty. There were no days over 40 degrees and there were
several significant rainfall events that alleviated stress on the vines (and us!). The fruit set in
early December was extremely successful and the season was tracking a bit later than is
recently usual. Easter in 2017 was mid April so the early April harvest date was no surprise.
Conversely, in 2016 Easter was mid March and the harvest was early March. In 2018
Easter was end March/early April and harvest was completed between March 11 and 20th.
In all three vintages, the grapes ripened 110 to 115 days from fruit set.
In 2017 we determined that the vintage was going to push later into the season and we did
more green harvest/fruit thinning than normal in order not to push the ripening of the crop
into mid April when we perceived the season might be fracturing. The potential crop was, for
us, large and the gut feeling was that it was not a season to roll the dice on a two tonne per
acre plus crop. Five days after we concluded the harvest we had 100mm of rain! Most
certainly, if we had left the crop as it was we would have suffered flavour and sugar dilution
and the way the autumn then progressed we would never have got the fruit to where it
needed to be for maximum quality. Conversely, in 2018 the crop was just over two tonnes
per acre on average and we read the season to be long and warm and the vine health to be
exceptional and pleasingly that is how it played out. In 2018 we had 76mm of rain at the
beginning of veraison, a perfect moment for rainfall, and the vines ripened their crop in
perfect fashion. Whether this be intuition, experience, managed risk taking or something
else, it has been very satisfying.