There was an air of excitement at Chateau Tanunda as a delivery, fresh from the winery’s 150-year-old Semillion vines, arrived to mark the beginning of the year’s vintage.
The Chateau Tanunda team gathered around their 100-plus year old bell on Monday, with a glass of wine in hand, to ‘ring in’ their 2019 vintage.
As is tradition, the sounding of the historic Chateau Tanunda bell coincides with a very busy period, as the team begins the wine-making process.
Chateau Tanunda’s Chief winemaker Neville Rowe is optimistic about how their vines have performed under what he has called a “challenging” season.
“It look, considering some of the challenges Mother Nature has thrown at us, it's incredibly good and is in really good condition,” Mr Rowe said.
“Those old vines really know how to withstand the challenges that are thrown at them.”
“Now we've got a little mild break in the weather which is absolutely A-grade and will allow for a week of good flavour development.”
Following a similarly dry summer last year, this season has tested growers’ abilities to make the most of the water that they did have.
“Those growers and vineyards that have been judicious in their watering and applied it at the right time, such as very early Spring/late Winter, are showing that the canopies are holding in really tough - it's amazing,” Mr Rowe said.
Naturally, however, dry conditions have meant that yields are predicted to be lower.
“I'd say we will be 20 to 30 per cent down on our long-term averages.”
“In comparison to '18 where we had a fairly dry summer as well, it is different because there was more natural moisture in the winter and spring last year and we still had a reserve from the '17 vintage in vine health.”
A new look Cellar Door
A recently completely revamped Cellar Door has given Chateau Tanunda even more reason to celebrate the upcoming vintage, Cellar Door Manager Shannon Kruschel said.
“The open plan Cellar Door is home to the Grand Cellar, housing over 360 barrels of Château Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz, one the Barossa’s leading exported wines, with more than 10 vintages of back to back Gold medals awarded,” Mr Kruschel said.
“Guests can experience the ‘Old Vine Expression’ range, of 50-Year-Old, 100-Year-Old Vines and the rare and collectable 150-Year-Old Vines 1858 Field Blend and 150-Year-Old Vines Semillon as well as sample a full collection of Grand Barossa and The Château limited release Single Vineyard wines.”