Growing season (Oct-Apr) data:
Growing Degree Days (heat units)
The title of this vintage report will alert you to the main story of vintage 2021 – there wasn’t much of it! Thanks (if that’s the right word) to cool, damp weather over the key weeks of flowering, yields ultimately ended up down 50% overall compared to an average yielding year.
Ironically, conditions over the second half of the growing season were near to perfect and we certainly could have ripened a much more substantial crop (deep sigh). Small crops generally ripen earlier and the recent trend for earlier harvests was reinforced with our earliest ever start and finish dates. To put that in context, over our first 20 vintages not one harvest would have started by the date we finished picking this year! The small crop was the key factor in the early start and finish but it’s also time to recognize that climate change is shifting our seasons as we are now on average starting picking two weeks earlier than even 10 years ago.
Now the more cheerful news – the benign ripening conditions delivered fantastic fruit into the winery and it might not be too much of an exaggeration to say that the quality may be inversely proportional to the yield. Over the years we have had several great “pair” vintages: 2000 and 2001; 2005 and 2006; 2009 and 2010; 2013 and 2014. My feeling is that 2020 and 2021 will be remembered as another great “pair”. So, not much of it, but 2021 will offer much to look forward to on the quality front.
Here are the average harvest parameters for each variety: