Despite a very dry August a wet July in 2019 brought winter rainfall (233mm) close to the average. The relatively cool winter resulted in mid-September budburst, more in line with long term averages. Good rainfall in September was followed by a dry October and November. A record hot spring day on 20th of November (39.9 C) followed by several days of very high winds affected cultivars flowering at the time, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, reducing berry set. Hotter than average spring temperatures along with a very hot December and high evaporation meant strategic and timely early irrigation was critical in setting up vine growth and maximizing fruit quality. The upside of these conditions was very low levels of pest and disease. McLaren Vale was fortunate to be unaffected by the devastating fires across many regions.
The season turned on the 4th of January and the following months were cooler than average. A timely rain in early February revived vines without causing berry splitting. Harvest started mid-February with Pinot Noir for Rosé. Chardonnay and Fiano were picked by the end of the month. Starting with Tempranillo and Shiraz, reds were picked from the end of February to the end of March. Cool conditions allowed a steady and calm progression through harvest despite the challenges of Covid 19 restrictions.
Our reliable region and resources, including our very talented vineyard and winery teams, have resulted in 2020 Shingleback wines of excellent quality and generally only slightly lower quantity.