Spring in the Barossa is one of our favourite times of year. Everything is freshly renewed as vines take shape and form bushy leaf growth – a sight to behold. Vineyards are looking so pretty with shades of green everywhere. Cover crops appear between vineyard rows and roses start to flower along the end of rows. The Barossa Ranges slowly change from bright green to yellowy brown as temperatures move from crisp chills to warm sunny days. It’s such a delicate time of year for grape growers and winemakers. Budburst kicks in and we watch conditions that help shape the quality of the fruit for next vintage.
Vintage 2018 for Liebichwein has been another solid season for quality with yields slightly lower overall.
There was an even mild growing ripening season with some bursts of heat early in Summer that made us a little nervous about quality. Grapes started ripening almost two weeks earlier than usual and we commenced picking in the first week of March. Some of the varieties used for fortified like Frontignac and Semillon don’t hold up so well in the heat, so these got picked earlier than usual. A long extended dry period into April allowed Grenache to hang on until we could pick at full-flavour and colour, though the crop was down a little.
On the whole, fortified wine stocks are in good supply and now maturing slowly in barrels. A few reds are maturing in barrel and there were no white wines made this year. As an aside, the table grapes we grow for personal use were of excellent quality providing us with fruit from January to May.