Barossa Valley – 2020
The 2020 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines from the Barossa Valley, albeit reduced yields caused by poor conditions at flowering and the extremely dry winter, spring and summer of 2019/20. The 2019 winter and spring resulted in the driest start to the growing season ever, in line with 1939 and 1961. Growth in early spring was weaker due to a hotter than average October. November was a challenging month with some frosts and wet and windy conditions during flowering. Bunch size was normal, although with fewer berries having set, it resulted in more open clusters. Significant heatwaves from mid-December to the end of January reduced shoot growth and berry size, however at the end of the month over 40mm of rain fell, alleviating the stress just before veraison, followed by a cool ripening period in February with just three days over 30°C. Vintage was early, beginning in late February and finishing by late March. The fruit ripened in near-perfect conditions, resulting in optimal and excellent wine quality (colour, aromatics, flavours and tannin maturity). Bunches were loose and pristine, while the yield remained quite low, at about 50% of average. The 2020 red wines are intense in colour, exceptionally fragrant, spicy and well-structured.