Its almost that grape stompin' time of year again down this way. Autumn has arrived bang on time with crisp evenings and a bit of rain and yellowing leaves beginning to fall - and blackberries, tomatoes, pears and apples all ripening sweetly. Absolutely a favourite time of ours down here in the Huon.
We have been busy (as ever) and have recently bottled the 2018 pinots a few days ago, happy to report that they look great.
We have also upgraded a bit of the package with new capsules now bearing the Chatto brand across the top to make cellar searches slightly easier.....
We are all for making it easier to find on a shelf!
We are now on the cusp of processing Standing Orders on April 1 for the 2018 releases (which will be delivered for the launch date of August 1).
People who already have an existing order have been emailed last Thursday. If you didn't receive an email from Daisy last week and you would like to jump on board with this please follow the link below to the Standing Order page and join us. (If you did receive an email from Daisy last week you can just relax as your allocation is secure!)
If you do prefer to wait for pre release sales we will be in touch with that offer on June 1 (to mailing list only)
The 2018 wines are looking great. Here's what Jim has to say:
"2018 was a wonderful season in the Huon. An early season with dry, relatively warm days, and cool nights, ensuring great intensity and purity of fruit. Only just bottled, the 2018's are looking very good, and with the best balance from our site to date. The White label (from all 8 clones) is super perfumed with 5 spice, florals and bright red fruits. The Isle is darker fruited, and more powerful, yet with the now familiar exotic aromatics, we love in this vineyard selection. Living on-site, and having the winery just metres from the vineyard, has allowed us to really isolate interesting parcels, and pick every section of our vineyard at optimum flavour. I can't wait to see these wines come August!"
Back in January you most likely would have heard about the fires we had down this way. We were lucky to be able to relocate into Hobart with the animals and children for two weeks during this event. (Also, we managed to get the 2018 wines in barrel out of the winery as pictured below.)
And we suffered no actual fire on our side of the river. Five homes were lost 20 kilometres distance from us - so we do feel pretty blessed. While we all thoroughly enjoyed a taste of city living, we were very happy to safely get back home. (Heartfelt thanks to everyone who checked in to make sure we were ok.)
63,000+ hectares over the river from us has been burnt out. There was a lot of smoke blowing in our direction for most of the time which has resulted in us making the heartbreaking decision not to make any wine off our vineyard this year.
Fortunately, more than 95% of the Tasmanian vineyard area has not been impacted by the fires. And luckily for us some good friends in the North of the state have offered some fruit, so we can still produce wine from 2019. We will keep you in the loop with this as vintage rolls on. The creative juices have been flowing and the potential for new things is always tantalising...watch this space!
That said, we won't be making either Isle Vineyard or Huon Valley pinots from 2019, so perhaps a good idea is to top up on 2018's to see you through...?
(note: we will hold all 'vintage 2019' Standing Orders, so if you are on a standing order we will fill it next in 2 years time.)
So, after a hot, dry and slightly scary January/February we are watching our grapes ripen without nets on, knowing we won't be harvesting them for wine. (The kids, any visitors and the neighbours are all helping though, the grapes at least don't taste smoky) There is a definite lack of urgency which we are unaccustomed to at this time of year.
We are making the most of it and have been enjoying the clean air and a spot of camping on Bruny, sailing and getting out and about the valley as everything bounces back from the fires. Fun times!
We look forward to sharing more news with you soon, once we have more information on what we will do in vintage 2019.
Until then, Cheers! Jim and Daisy
Pictured - the 2018 wines in barrel ready to go to the bottling line with the smoky sky of the 2019 bushfires in the background.