Things are moving along quite quickly in the vineyard this year, and Scotchmans Hill chief winemaker Robin Brockett believes it could be one of the earliest vintages in his 28 years as winemaker at Scotchmans Hill. “We anticipate that we’ll be taking the first grapes off the vines in late February or at the start of March,” he said.
“Veraison – the transition from berry growth to berry ripening – is almost complete, and the grapes are looking fantastic and well protected by canopy.”
According to Robin, the recent rain was very welcome after a long dry spell and has really freshened up the vines and set them up for a good run into vintage.
“The grapes are looking very healthy and well balanced this year.”
The Bellarine Peninsula has always been recognised for producing exemplary Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but Robin believes cool climate Shiraz is fast becoming a style to watch out for.
“Shiraz, I think, will become a more and more important variety for us down here.
“The Shiraz produced on the Bellarine is consistent and elegant, and more forgiving during warmer growing seasons,” he said.
So much so that the 2013 Scotchmans Hill Shiraz recently placed among the top five in the recent Great Australian Shiraz Challenge – one of only four wines scoring 19 points out of 20.
If you are interested in tasting some award-winning wines, check out the picturesque vineyards at the Scotchmans Hill, where the cellar door is open 10.30am to 4.30pm, seven days a week.
“It is a beautiful time of year in the vineyard, with the vines fully-grown and vintage about to start,” Robin said.
“We’re the only winery where you can see the action happening and where the wines are made.”
Scotchmans Hill is at 190 Scotchmans Road, Drysdale.