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Tahbilk Vintage report 2022

Tahbilk Vintage report 2022

 Written by Jo Nash 

The only thing that you can guarantee about the harvest season every year is that there are no guarantees. We are as always at the mercy of mother nature, she is calling the shots, and this year was no exception.

The season started off slowly, summer was cool, and the rainfall was low in the lead-up, so everyone was expecting a cracking season… mother nature had other plans!

Yields came in well down with some of our blocks by as much as 40%, not the result hoped for. Pinpointing a reason for the season is somewhat of a guessing game.

A windy spring certainly disrupted the fruit set, leading to fewer berries per bunch. The dry summer didn’t help either, but then again, it wasn’t super-hot, so you would think one would balance out the other. I am sure that some of the gurus will have opinions as to why, for me though, it is just the beauty of the unknown that we see every year.

We were lulled again this year, as has been the case for previous harvests, into thinking that all was going along so smoothly. We ticked along at a steady pace, whites progressed nicely, the reds ripening well and then… wham, everything ripened up at once, and the usual vintage chaos was back.

Don’t get me wrong, the juggling and the navigating of whites and rosés is what makes it interesting then throw in the reds and off we go – strap yourself in and see what happens next.

There are always two clear weeks in the winery that will either make you or break you. The first is the white/rosé/red juggle, and the second is the red press- a-thon. This is when we empty the fermenters, and pretty much fill them straight back up. Get it in, ferment it, press it, get it out! It is about finding the balance between the initial cold soak, fermentation time and rate, time on skins post fermentation and then bringing in the next parcel of fruit.

And just to make it even more fun, this changes every year.

Anyway, the fruits of vintage 2022 are now tucked away in the winery. Some in large tanks, ready for bottling and to offer our wonderful customers albeit with a little less this year! Others settling into their time in small and large oak casks with an eye on a release over the coming years.

And the final verdict on vintage 2022?

That will be yours…- Jo Nash