After a hot and very dry summer, it looked like vintage might start early as it did in 2016. Fortunately there was a small amount of rain in mid-February and we eventually picked the Chenin Blanc on 20 February, with the first batch of Shiraz going through the winery a few days later.

Chenin Blanc Vintage 2018

First grapes for 2018 – Chenin Blanc going through the crusher, 21 February 2018

First Shiraz going through the winery for Vintage 2018 – February

Following on from the success of the Artisans of Barossa Grenache project this year, we are all doing it again in 2018, and fruit was picked on 2 March. I made the most of the long weekend in March, getting my kids up to the winery to do some foot stomping.

VIDEO: Kids foot stomping

Grenache and Mataro for the rose have also been picked and pressed and will now ferment separately until blending in a couple of months’ time.

The Thiele Road Grenache and Nitschke Block Shiraz have both been picked and are starting the fermenting process in tanks and I expect to pick the Schiller Shiraz in the coming week.

Overall things are looking pretty good and the winery is definitely a little crowded.

The winery is looking pretty full – and we’re not done yet

The other big news for us has been the approval of a new home for Artisans of Barossa, the cooperative cellar door that I have been a part of since we first had the idea of doing joint tasting events over 10 years ago. We’re hoping to be in the new venue in early 2019.

Artisans of Barossa – image of new venue

The next few weeks will see the rest of the fruit picked and making its way into tanks and barrels.

As in previous years, we’ll look to release the first wines from the vintage – the Rose and Chenin Blanc – in the middle of the year. I’ll also release the 2016 Schiller in late May and I’m excited about sharing my first single barrel release with you later in the year. In the meantime, all our other wines are available via our online shop.

Looking ahead, I’ll be travelling to Melbourne, Sydney and Perth for the Good Food and Wine Shows from June. Make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list for special offers on tickets and details about tastings and dinners in those cities.

In the meantime, follow us on Instagram for regular updates on vintage.

Thanks again for your support.