Kangaroo Island experienced a wet winter in 2021, followed by a challenging flowering during November. These same conditions were experienced across much of South Australia, resulting in widespread lower fruit-set.
As always in viticulture, every challenge has a silver lining. As a result of the below-average flowering, our vines concentrated their energy on a smaller amount of fruit. Summer 2021/2022 has been mild, creating a long slow ripening period resulting in red varieties with an outstanding balance of fruit & acidity.
Harvest kicked off on the 10th of March with a small crew hand-picking an excellent crop of Sauvignon Blanc at the Haines vineyard. Over the next 5 weeks, we processed around 70 tonnes of grapes concluding with a hand-pick of our signature variety Cabernet Franc on the 14th of April. We celebrated our first harvest from our Kohinoor Hills vineyard with two volunteer picking days where we were joined by friends, community members & loyal customers.
It was exciting & energising to be harvesting from our estate just two years post bushfire. Our yield was small compared to pre-bushfire levels, but we are confident our recovery rate will improve significantly over the next two years.
As always in a small wine business, vintage means all hands on deck. The entire Norris family jumped in for long days & even longer nights. Yale's son Wynn became the #1 vintage hand. A next-generation winemaker in the making! And it was wonderful to have Jacques' wife Natalie Lurton join our picking team.
It is energising to have our winery close to full capacity again with delicious wines in concrete, steel & oak. While it is still early days, we are excited about our 2022 whites, including Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier & Rose. In our red varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon is the early standout & we cannot wait to see how our Cabernet Franc develops in its first post-fire yield.
We are preparing to bottle & release several new wines in the coming months. We can't wait to share them with you.