Pioneers of the Hunter Since 1853
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2017 Vintage Report

Our budburst started timely if not a little late. Spring was fairly cool/ mild giving us an even slow fruit development. Soil water was relatively abundant compliments of the winter rains. So far so good! Then in comes the hottest summer on record. This gave Greg Drayton and his team in the vineyard a very busy time in so far as to having to keep water up to the vines very regularly so as to minimise the heat stress on the vines. The most obvious benefit of this hot weather was the extremely low incidence of diseases in the vineyards.

Overall, this resulted in some of the best fruit quality ever received at Drayton’s winery, once again thank Greg and the weather.

As usual our picking started with Chardonnay on the 19th January, the resulting wines show a fresh acidity and plenty of lemon and tropical fruit flavours, these flavours will be enhanced and complemented as some of our Chardonnay ages in French oak.

Our first Semillon was picked on 25th January, all our Semillons are showing citrus flavours and a great acidity that is one of the hallmarks of Hunter Semillon. These characteristics will no doubt give us wines that will age gracefully across all ranges.

Verdelho was picked 31st January, it has produced a wine with vibrant acidity, aromas of honeysuckle and tropical flavours. I have no doubt this wine will be a perfect partner for chicken salads and other Asian foods.

As usual, we left out some Verdelho in the vine to get a higher sugar and flavour concentration, this Verdelho was harvested 12th February and fortified to join our solera for aging and sometime down the track make its way into our White Liqueur and a lot later it may incorporate our Heritage Vines Liqueur Verdelho.

In the meantime Greg and his team kept watering!

Shiraz harvesting started 7th February, at the moment we have these wines maturing in oak and tank, overall they display intense red colours and flavours true to the variety and region.

Our Bordeaux varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were picked in the 3rd week of February, again, as with the Shiraz they display vibrant colours and flavours, my pick here would have to be Cabernet Franc displaying aromas of cherry, violet and a leafiness so characteristic of the variety. The palate has a soft tannins and smooth acidity, as for now we are letting it rest in old oak.

Overall our 2017 Vintage gave us great whites and awesome reds, this despite the intense heat of our hottest summer.

For the moment that is all folks! Hope to see you around our cellar door for a tasting and purchase of some of the finest in the Hunter Valley.

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