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Tim's Ravings

Posted by Tim Stevens on

Vintage Report 2016

Happy vines make happy wine. And happy wines make a happy winemaker.

So it was with the 2016 Vintage just finished.

In one of my recent Ravings I may have given the wrong impression that I wasn’t happy when I moaned about all of the hurdles in front of us poor vignerons; from droughts to floods, frosts to heatwaves. In the 2016 growing season Mudgee's geographic and climatic advantages lifted us to produce some of the best wines I have seen in Mudgee.

Excellent winter rains in 2015 gave our vines, which are approaching 50 years of age, an ideal headstart in the following mild Spring. Fruit-set early in the season was ideal so we reached our targeted moderate yields in all varieties.

The summer growing season was warmer than average but flavour-destroying heatwaves were rare. Unlike Victorian and South Australian regions, which have recorded multiple heatwaves and bush fires, our vines have thrived and not been hampered by extreme conditions.

The January rain deluge that hit the Hunter Valley did not extend this far inland and while we had higher than average rains in January it gave the vines a rest and a drink ahead of the critical ripening stage.

Yes, climate change brought forward our vintage a month (for the fourth year in a row) but our positioning on the western shoulder of the Great Dividing Range, at 500 metres altitude, kept the vines healthy and put us in the box seat for a great fruit ripening period.

It really is impossible to say which varieties were best, they all excelled and will be among the best wines we have ever produced.

The vines were the happiest I have ever seen them in the 2016 season. But don’t worry, Vintage is over and I’m of to play golf, so I will be grumpy again real soon.

Cheers,

Tim Stevens
Owner, Chief Winemaker, Huntington Estate

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