The 2011 Shiraz Harvest
We ended up with 2.8 tonne of Shiraz this year. Last year we didn't get a crop due to too much rain and the year before (our first crop) we picked 1.8 tonne. We would have had more but the kangaroos and birds probably ate a tonne of fruit.
The urban myth is that one year in five is a good year in the Hunter. It turns out that this might be the year. Early on things were looking dodgy with a lot of rain but we haven't had as much during Jan and Feb as in previous years - I guess it is all up in Qld. This is a good thing. You don't want rain close to harvest. This is the first year that we haven't emptied the irrigation dam, so we were able to keep the drippers going up until picking.
But the ferments haven't finished yet - it wont be until then that we will get a real idea of the quality. One thing is certain, the 2011 Shiraz will be a much bigger wine than the 2009, the grapes were almost raisins by the time they came off so the flavours should be very intense. Of course the Shiraz needs to spend a year in oak prior to bottling so we wont be seeing that until 2012.