In this case it means laugh out loud. This is the best way of dealing with nature and the seasonal variations which are normally the reasons why we enjoy viticulture.
2019 will always be remembered by me, for a devastating frost which occurred on October 18th 2018. It is extremely disappointing, that in a matter of 3 or 4 hours the whole season can be damaged so severely. Very disheartening for all involved especially the vineyard guys who work so hard all year, and have to largely rely on nature to deliver a reasonable crop.
From then till Christmas we enjoyed a wetter than normal spring which also impacted on the quality of the flowering. Spring gave us a perfect start to summer with plenty of canopy and soil water stored for the drier months. Summer was ideal with healthy canopies and no disease pressure. We started (and finished) vintage earlier than ever before. Maybe to do with climate change, but I believe it was more about large canopies driving small crops so things ripened rapidly and very successfully. A season very similar to 2017/18 with average rainfall between September 1st and April 9th. Heat summation for the same period was 169 degree days higher than the long term average (1138°C days) or about 15% up.
The Pinot Noir we have picked at this early stage looks and tastes fantastic. Deep ripe colours, loads of fruit and soft ripe tannins. They will be long term wines with great depth of character.
The perfect summer has given us classic Chardonnay. Very clean, ripe flavours and adequate acid. These wines should be in keeping with the style we have been exploring since 2010. Complex aromas and flavours, restrained acids, and fresh lively fruit flavours.
Pinot Gris looks to be stunner. Real depth of flavour edging into Gewürztraminer flavour profiles, most likely due to the smaller crop.
Sadly the frost has dealt a blow to our ever increasingly popular Pinot Blanc. It was totalled! Next year!
We have had largely a new team this vintage. Tim our new winemaker and Mark who has jumped from the vineyard to winery to help, have taken on the winery work successfully with support from Manon and Carol in the laboratory. Well done, never an easy time of the year with 7 days a week required for 4-5 weeks.