VINTAGE REPORTS

2017

Vintage is the period from the first to the last harvest of grapes and the final completion of all fermentation. In 2017, that period for GIBSON Wines was from 1st March to 12th May, a period of 10 weeks.

The start was later than the last few dry years and at lower sugar content. On average it was a week late.

The Growing Season, September to March was cool to mild with the temperature index down by 0.4 Deg C and was wetter than average (170%), but nicely spread so no problems resulted from rain events.

The vines remained vigorous and delayed harvest because of the abundant soil moisture reserves. Winter (dormant season) rain was 76mm (45%) above average. See Weather detail below

The varietal wine components usually perform differently in a season. General comments are:

Pinot Gris:- first crop from the Rock Garden at Eden Valley, now a very special Rose due for early release.

Merlot:- very aromatic and varietal with good reassuring structure at this stage.

Shiraz:- lower in alcohol and classy elegance should suit market trends and show what the Barossa can do in that style.

Cabernet Sauvignon:- varietal and attractive due to the milder season especially at lower crop levels.

Grenache:- light but attractive

Lagrain:– first time and it’s very fruity and interesting.

Nero d’Avola:- beaut, vibrant berry fruit. Adam is very happy with this one.

Riesling:- stunning! Already in bottle, made under guidance of Australian Master of Riesling my friend Andrew Wigan.

Rob Gibson (16.5.17)

2017 Vintage Weather

2016

2016 Vintage Crsh Map

State and Regional overview

The total reported crush of South Australian winegrapes in 2016 was 817,981 tonnes. This was an increase of 14% above the 2015 harvest of 716,592 tonnes. Nationally, there was an estimated non-response rate of 10.0%; however a specific non-response rate for South Australia is not known.

Over the previous five years (from 2011 – 2015), the average State production is 723,983 tonnes, with a low of 681,319 tonnes in 2013 and a high of 716,592 tonnes in 2015. The 2016 crush is up by 17% against the last five year average. It is the highest crush for the state since 2006.

The top three regions by volume in 2016 were the Riverland with 56% of the crush (456,988 tonnes), Langhorne Creek with 7.3% (60,119 tonnes) and the Barossa Valley with 6.6% (54,137 tonnes). Many regions had significant increases in tonnage, including Langhorne Creek (up by 54%), Padthaway (up by 77%), McLaren Vale (up by 44%) and Wrattonbully (up by 43%). The Adelaide Hills had an increase of 21% in tonnes, and the Barossa Valley 23%, while the Clare Valley was up by 30%. The Riverland increased its production by 1% on the 2015 vintage

The total estimated value of the crush was $581 million, up by $180 million (45%) compared with 2015. The average purchase value per tonne across the state increased from $577 in 2015 to $631 per tonne.

Varietal overview

The red crush produced 496,463 tonnes, which was 17% higher than the 2015 crush (422,776 tonnes) and 14% above the five year average (435,732 tonnes); whilst the white crush production increased by 9% to 321,518 tonnes, which is 10% above the five year average (292,092 tonnes).

Shiraz was up by 30,000 tonnes (12.5%) and accounted for 48% (239,594 tonnes) of the red crush, with Cabernet Sauvignon second at 30% (149,976 tonnes – up by 36,000 tonnes) and Merlot third at 9% (45,384 tonnes).

Among the white varieties, Chardonnay was up by 20,000 tonnes and accounted for 52% (166,136 tonnes) of the white production, with Sauvignon Blanc (11%) next and Colombard dropping by 5,000 tonnes and slipping from 11% to 8% of the white crush. Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio increased by nearly 4,000 tonnes – a 40% increase.

Note: changes to the methodology for the survey collection in 2015 mean that direct comparisons of tonnages and prices with previous years should be interpreted with caution.

Vineyard plantings

Planting data derived from the Vinehealth Australia1 vineyard register shows that there were 75,858 hectares planted to vines in South Australia as at 30 April 2016. This represents a decrease of 260 hectares since 2015. Although there have been net decreases in the previous four years in total planted area, the current area planted is 6,000 hectares higher than it was in 2004.

There was a total of 462 hectares (<1% of the total area) planted in spring 2015 (including top-working and replacements) compared with 864 hectares planted in the 2014-15 season. Of the new plantings, red varieties accounted for 86% compared with white varieties at 10% and tablegrapes at 4%. 50% of new plantings were Shiraz (231 ha) and 27% were Cabernet Sauvignon (231 ha).

There was a total of 3,394 growers registered with the Board as at 30 April 2016. This was slightly fewer than at the same time last year. 2,013 growers (59%) have properties smaller than 10 hectares and account for 11% of the total vineyard area, while 128 growers (4%) have properties larger than 100 hectares (in the same region) and account for 40% of the vineyard area.

State summary Historical winegrape crush South Australia 1997 – 2016

Annual Crush Map

2015

Winter Rains were above average but Spring and early Summer  was very dry. Good rain in January rescued the situation.  Early season temperatures in October and November were well above average enhancing rapid development.

Mild dry ripening conditions later combined with low yields led to good varietal expression despite very early ripening. Excellent sugar to acid ratios were a reflection of cool nights and moderate temperatures.

Harvest was almost  a month early, commencing 11th February with the Western Ridge Shiraz.

2014

Temperatures were cold and frosty in October and November.

Winter was wet but spring and summer were dry and the drought was relieved by 100mm rain over 2 days in Feb when things were looking critical..phew!

Yields were very low (down 30-40%)

These conditions made for lovely varietal expression and balance in Shiraz particularly.

Wine pH’s needed considerable adjustment and may advance development of these wines over time.

2013

Budburst was approximately 10 days late on 28/9/12 this year. This was due to lower soil temperatures due to the dryness. Although everything grew well early including the mid-row sward , some vines showed signs of stunting on weaker soils by mid-November.

At this stage in mid-December it is evident that many vines are need more rain. Forecasts are consistently over-estimating on thunderstorms but I am sure, as is typical in this type of drought, when it rains it will POUR!

With regard to Rainfall, we are currently 255 mm (50%) down on 2012 at this time and 150mm (30%) behind the long term average to end of November.

We are needing to do more shoot thinning this year so an expensive low crop vintage of Shiraz is likely… let’s hope the quality is really good!!

It has been very very dry with extended periods of record temperatures…refer to climatic data..

This has resulted in very low yields of intensely varietal Shiraz Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling from Barossa and Eden Valley.

We are truly stunned by the quality of this vintage! You can look forward to it with excitement.

We completed our harvest on the 13th March which is the earliest on record.

We have had a good small team of pickers from France who have served us well with our selective picking approach.

Barossa Vintage Festival will be a great celebration this year!

2012

30/09/2011 – A good bud burst has now occurred on all varieties and some shoots are now 10cm long. We will put our organic sprays on when the weather fines up next week.

2/11/2011 – We’re 80 mm above average rainfall at this time. The humidity is giving good conditions for strong growth. The vines are about to flower and we seem to be free of frost damage. The potential crop is average to above average in most of our varieties and extra effort is planned in the areas of soil moisture depletion to control growth.

Beauty in Shiraz at Burkes Hill – Eden Valley

14/11/11 Flowering underway in Eden Valley Riesling  and Barossa Merlot…good conditions ..important time for establishing berry number and size and style at harvest…dont need storms or hail or disease now

18/01/12 – The colouring of the Red grapes is underway. Merlot at Isabelle vineyard is currently at 25% coloured and the fruit is in good condition. We are expecting thunder storms over the next week.

10/2/12 – Currently crop thinning 9.5 Merlot due to some retarded fruit because the Merlot looks great this year and we don’t want dilution from the seasonal variation. The Old Vine Shiraz is progressing well with deep black color and 11 Baume (20 Brix) of sugar. The flavors are now starting to show and if the weather predicted next weekend allows, we will have some lovely grapes to play with. Expect to harvest Pinot Gris from Kersbrook at 24 Brix next week or early the following week. Exciting!!

24/02/12 – Harvested Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris yesterday, currently settling and the juice looks good. Picked our first red ferment of Lyndoch Shiraz and came in at 14.9 Baume. Color looks excellent. Let’s see what the flavors are…

A few hot days just when we start to pick. Predicted rain next Monday may hold us up.

Into Merlot harvest next week from Isabelle vineyard.
03/04/12 – Shiraz harvest from the Barossa floor started on the 25th of February and finished on the 16th of March. Ripeness generally around 13.5 Baume. Aromas and flavours have been extraordinary and we can look forward to an outstanding Barossa Shiraz Vintage. Adelaide Hills Merlot was harvested 28th of Feb at 14.2 Baume, showing very strong varietal characters. Barossa Merlot commenced on the1st of March and was completed on the 14th of March. Barossa Cabernet commenced on 28th of Feb and finished on the 30th of March. Eden Valley Shiraz commenced on the 19th of March and finished on the 30th of March, once again Baumes were a little lower at 13.2-13.5. Petit Verdot was harvested on the 30th of March at low Baume. In summary, outstanding varietal characters for Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot and seasonal weather was quite favourable with rainfall below average for January, February and March.

28/09/12 – Well Spring has sprung this week. A burst of warm weather and the buds are all opening and shoots poking out for the 2013 growing season. Things always look so neat and tidy at this stage.

We will have a small crop of Pinot Gris and Merlot from the new bush garden at Eden Valley this year so that is exciting.

Dirtman Shiraz continues to capture everyone’s taste buds around the country…the 2010 has settled down beautifully .

The new 2012 Riesling is really lifted aromatically and is a delightful rival to the lake of Kiwi pee out there…give it a go…it is fruity and crisp.

If you insist on Sauvignon Blanc try our superior Loose end Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc with your calamari.

Don’t forget our Sparkling Merlot and big luscious Pinot Gris too.

Remember we are available for shopping on line 24/7 whenever you need anything AND there is usually a bargain or two advertised!

Have just got back from China where we enjoyed their great food and friendly banquets with our Merlot over there. Too bad our Chinese food isn’t nearly as good here!

Adelaide Good Food and Wine is coming up……

Looking forward to a big Sunday Funday on the 28th of October…whisper is I am another year older and will want to party that day. Someone’s gotta do it. Annie prefers to forget her birthdays.

Take a little Spring drive over to see us ,we are open 7 days – 11-5pm. It’s absolutely beautiful here and you never know I might have our old wood fired oven going.

Cheers to you in Spring.

Rob Gibson

2016

2016 Vintage Crsh Map

State and Regional overview

The total reported crush of South Australian winegrapes in 2016 was 817,981 tonnes. This was an increase of 14% above the 2015 harvest of 716,592 tonnes. Nationally, there was an estimated non-response rate of 10.0%; however a specific non-response rate for South Australia is not known.

Over the previous five years (from 2011 – 2015), the average State production is 723,983 tonnes, with a low of 681,319 tonnes in 2013 and a high of 716,592 tonnes in 2015. The 2016 crush is up by 17% against the last five year average. It is the highest crush for the state since 2006.

The top three regions by volume in 2016 were the Riverland with 56% of the crush (456,988 tonnes), Langhorne Creek with 7.3% (60,119 tonnes) and the Barossa Valley with 6.6% (54,137 tonnes). Many regions had significant increases in tonnage, including Langhorne Creek (up by 54%), Padthaway (up by 77%), McLaren Vale (up by 44%) and Wrattonbully (up by 43%). The Adelaide Hills had an increase of 21% in tonnes, and the Barossa Valley 23%, while the Clare Valley was up by 30%. The Riverland increased its production by 1% on the 2015 vintage

The total estimated value of the crush was $581 million, up by $180 million (45%) compared with 2015. The average purchase value per tonne across the state increased from $577 in 2015 to $631 per tonne.

Varietal overview

The red crush produced 496,463 tonnes, which was 17% higher than the 2015 crush (422,776 tonnes) and 14% above the five year average (435,732 tonnes); whilst the white crush production increased by 9% to 321,518 tonnes, which is 10% above the five year average (292,092 tonnes).

Shiraz was up by 30,000 tonnes (12.5%) and accounted for 48% (239,594 tonnes) of the red crush, with Cabernet Sauvignon second at 30% (149,976 tonnes – up by 36,000 tonnes) and Merlot third at 9% (45,384 tonnes).

Among the white varieties, Chardonnay was up by 20,000 tonnes and accounted for 52% (166,136 tonnes) of the white production, with Sauvignon Blanc (11%) next and Colombard dropping by 5,000 tonnes and slipping from 11% to 8% of the white crush. Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio increased by nearly 4,000 tonnes – a 40% increase.

Note: changes to the methodology for the survey collection in 2015 mean that direct comparisons of tonnages and prices with previous years should be interpreted with caution.

Vineyard plantings

Planting data derived from the Vinehealth Australia1 vineyard register shows that there were 75,858 hectares planted to vines in South Australia as at 30 April 2016. This represents a decrease of 260 hectares since 2015. Although there have been net decreases in the previous four years in total planted area, the current area planted is 6,000 hectares higher than it was in 2004.

There was a total of 462 hectares (<1% of the total area) planted in spring 2015 (including top-working and replacements) compared with 864 hectares planted in the 2014-15 season. Of the new plantings, red varieties accounted for 86% compared with white varieties at 10% and tablegrapes at 4%. 50% of new plantings were Shiraz (231 ha) and 27% were Cabernet Sauvignon (231 ha).

There was a total of 3,394 growers registered with the Board as at 30 April 2016. This was slightly fewer than at the same time last year. 2,013 growers (59%) have properties smaller than 10 hectares and account for 11% of the total vineyard area, while 128 growers (4%) have properties larger than 100 hectares (in the same region) and account for 40% of the vineyard area.

State summary Historical winegrape crush South Australia 1997 – 2016

Annual Crush Map

2015

Winter Rains were above average but Spring and early Summer  was very dry. Good rain in January rescued the situation.  Early season temperatures in October and November were well above average enhancing rapid development.

Mild dry ripening conditions later combined with low yields led to good varietal expression despite very early ripening. Excellent sugar to acid ratios were a reflection of cool nights and moderate temperatures.

Harvest was almost  a month early, commencing 11th February with the Western Ridge Shiraz.

2014

Temperatures were cold and frosty in October and November.

Winter was wet but spring and summer were dry and the drought was relieved by 100mm rain over 2 days in Feb when things were looking critical..phew!

Yields were very low (down 30-40%)

These conditions made for lovely varietal expression and balance in Shiraz particularly.

Wine pH’s needed considerable adjustment and may advance development of these wines over time.

2013

Budburst was approximately 10 days late on 28/9/12 this year. This was due to lower soil temperatures due to the dryness. Although everything grew well early including the mid-row sward , some vines showed signs of stunting on weaker soils by mid-November.

At this stage in mid-December it is evident that many vines are need more rain. Forecasts are consistently over-estimating on thunderstorms but I am sure, as is typical in this type of drought, when it rains it will POUR!

With regard to Rainfall, we are currently 255 mm (50%) down on 2012 at this time and 150mm (30%) behind the long term average to end of November.

We are needing to do more shoot thinning this year so an expensive low crop vintage of Shiraz is likely… let’s hope the quality is really good!!

It has been very very dry with extended periods of record temperatures…refer to climatic data..

This has resulted in very low yields of intensely varietal Shiraz Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling from Barossa and Eden Valley.

We are truly stunned by the quality of this vintage! You can look forward to it with excitement.

We completed our harvest on the 13th March which is the earliest on record.

We have had a good small team of pickers from France who have served us well with our selective picking approach.

Barossa Vintage Festival will be a great celebration this year!

2012

30/09/2011 – A good bud burst has now occurred on all varieties and some shoots are now 10cm long. We will put our organic sprays on when the weather fines up next week.

2/11/2011 – We’re 80 mm above average rainfall at this time. The humidity is giving good conditions for strong growth. The vines are about to flower and we seem to be free of frost damage. The potential crop is average to above average in most of our varieties and extra effort is planned in the areas of soil moisture depletion to control growth.

Beauty in Shiraz at Burkes Hill – Eden Valley

14/11/11 Flowering underway in Eden Valley Riesling  and Barossa Merlot…good conditions ..important time for establishing berry number and size and style at harvest…dont need storms or hail or disease now

18/01/12 – The colouring of the Red grapes is underway. Merlot at Isabelle vineyard is currently at 25% coloured and the fruit is in good condition. We are expecting thunder storms over the next week.

10/2/12 – Currently crop thinning 9.5 Merlot due to some retarded fruit because the Merlot looks great this year and we don’t want dilution from the seasonal variation. The Old Vine Shiraz is progressing well with deep black color and 11 Baume (20 Brix) of sugar. The flavors are now starting to show and if the weather predicted next weekend allows, we will have some lovely grapes to play with. Expect to harvest Pinot Gris from Kersbrook at 24 Brix next week or early the following week. Exciting!!

24/02/12 – Harvested Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris yesterday, currently settling and the juice looks good. Picked our first red ferment of Lyndoch Shiraz and came in at 14.9 Baume. Color looks excellent. Let’s see what the flavors are…

A few hot days just when we start to pick. Predicted rain next Monday may hold us up.

Into Merlot harvest next week from Isabelle vineyard.
03/04/12 – Shiraz harvest from the Barossa floor started on the 25th of February and finished on the 16th of March. Ripeness generally around 13.5 Baume. Aromas and flavours have been extraordinary and we can look forward to an outstanding Barossa Shiraz Vintage. Adelaide Hills Merlot was harvested 28th of Feb at 14.2 Baume, showing very strong varietal characters. Barossa Merlot commenced on the1st of March and was completed on the 14th of March. Barossa Cabernet commenced on 28th of Feb and finished on the 30th of March. Eden Valley Shiraz commenced on the 19th of March and finished on the 30th of March, once again Baumes were a little lower at 13.2-13.5. Petit Verdot was harvested on the 30th of March at low Baume. In summary, outstanding varietal characters for Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot and seasonal weather was quite favourable with rainfall below average for January, February and March.

28/09/12 – Well Spring has sprung this week. A burst of warm weather and the buds are all opening and shoots poking out for the 2013 growing season. Things always look so neat and tidy at this stage.

We will have a small crop of Pinot Gris and Merlot from the new bush garden at Eden Valley this year so that is exciting.

Dirtman Shiraz continues to capture everyone’s taste buds around the country…the 2010 has settled down beautifully .

The new 2012 Riesling is really lifted aromatically and is a delightful rival to the lake of Kiwi pee out there…give it a go…it is fruity and crisp.

If you insist on Sauvignon Blanc try our superior Loose end Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc with your calamari.

Don’t forget our Sparkling Merlot and big luscious Pinot Gris too.

Remember we are available for shopping on line 24/7 whenever you need anything AND there is usually a bargain or two advertised!

Have just got back from China where we enjoyed their great food and friendly banquets with our Merlot over there. Too bad our Chinese food isn’t nearly as good here!

Adelaide Good Food and Wine is coming up……

Looking forward to a big Sunday Funday on the 28th of October…whisper is I am another year older and will want to party that day. Someone’s gotta do it. Annie prefers to forget her birthdays.

Take a little Spring drive over to see us ,we are open 7 days – 11-5pm. It’s absolutely beautiful here and you never know I might have our old wood fired oven going.

Cheers to you in Spring.

Rob Gibson