2017 at Thorn-Clarke
2017 is shaping up to be a fantastic albeit unusual vintage. Looking back to the same time last year we had crushed 94% of our fruit, with only our late varieties Grenache and Petit Verdot yet to come across the weighbridge. This year we have just ticked over 20% and are still bringing in our ‘early’ varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Shiraz. The wet winter and spring in the Barossa, followed by generally mild conditions has meant that the vineyards are happy and healthy but are ripening up to six weeks later than the last few years. Quality looks amazing with pristine whites and powerful reds, let’s hope the warm autumnal conditions we are currently experiencing carry on for a few weeks yet.
This year we have some new ‘toys’ to play with in the winery as well, one of which is a new ‘destemmer’. As the name suggests this machine removes stems that are attached to the grape berries and our new destemmer has been outstanding in this regard. We can now crush fruit and expect over 99% pure berries in our fermenters, with next to no leaves or stems. This will help our wines show more vibrant fruit characters and enhance the balance in the wines.
Overall, the vintage has had a slow start but the next few weeks will be make or break time.
Peter Kelly, Senior Winemaker/Winery Manager