Artelium Wine Estate

2021 vintage report

  • Yields (variations between varieities and difference to prior year(s)) and ripeness

It is hard for us to comment too much on yields at Artelium as we are still maturing and don’t have that ”baseline” yet. However, the yields did look about average for each varietal. Regarding ripeness it was a tough season as it started late and ended late, veraison began in earnest at the end of August, but was slow to finish and sugars acids were equally as slow to move post veraison. Acids began to drop fast from early October with sugars not moving much. In some instances, we were picking based upon acids rather than sugars.

  • Specific problems – frost, mildew (heard a lot about this anectodtally!) – and how you’ve dealt with them.

April and May were cold and therefore tough: We experienced 13 air frost events, and late bud burst meant the season started late. A consistently intermittent wet season meant disease pressure was high throughout and taking the best spray windows possible was key to keeping problems to a minimum. During the mid to late season downy mildew was impossible to eradicate but fortunately thanks to consistent care and nurturing we kept it under control, and none was able to jump to the fruit or significantly reduce the canopy. Fruit thinning (green harvesting) and leaf stripping were essential activities this season and paramount to ensure fruit ripened. Botrytis pressure was under control going into harvest but with the wetter weather mid-October it got progressively worse towards the end and think skinned varietals such as Pinot Noir suffered badly.

  • Impact on winemaking – more chapitalisation this year?? Issues getting ripe enough for still wines? Made you innovate and try something new?

Due to cooler weather, this was certainly a better year for making sparkling wines over still. As we believe in making the best wines for each vintage, more of our production will be going into sparkling, however we are in a fortunate position to be making a limited number of still wines too from Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir/Meunier. However, saying all this, we are still to have the first taste of the juices, so watch this space….

  • Labour issues and materials shortage

Labour is in very limited supply. We were able to source workers from providers, but as we fortunately are yet to be up to full production, we chose to pick using team Artelium, as well as help from key trade accounts, friends, and family.

  • Your view on quality! Where does this rank against vintages of the past decade – by type of wine if different?

We are yet to taste juices, but the grapes had a lot of hang time ripening. The team thought the berries and fruit in some samples tasted delicious just without the sugar!!

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