Vintage 2021 at Trentham Estate was a cracker! Without doubt, it was one of the easiest and best vintages of our last 33. Weather-wise it was one of the best seasons we’ve had, with beautiful weather and only 2 small rain events, thus producing excellent fruit. We enjoyed a cool, wet-ish spring followed by a mild dry summer with very few days over 40° and nights cooler than normal.
Low pest and disease pressure and very good fruit quality made for a pleasant year. Kaolin clay was applied to some varieties before the only short spell of hot weather that we experienced. Varieties that we protected by the white clay included Brown Muscat, Maestri, Nebbiolo, Petit Verdot and Viognier. All grapes seemed to benefit from the heat reflection provided by the white clay.
Of the 19 varieties that we harvested both last year and this year, 10 were slightly down in yield and 9 were up. Overall, the total crop was 10% up, mainly due to good Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc yields.
The first day of picking fell on the 1st of February and included Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. It worked seamlessly well this year with whites coming in early and reds coming in a bit later, meaning less cross-over during vintage. The last fruit picked was Petit Verdot on the 19th of March. As is normally the case with vintage, we had many early starts, usually around 2 – 3am with harvesting and crushing, and finishing the day at around 7pm.
In the cellar, we are now busy blending and preparing many of the wines for bottling. As we’ve had excellent sales recently, it has meant that we need to get some of the wines bottled earlier than usual.
We can confidently say the standout varieties this year are Chardonnay and Pinot Gris in the whites, and in the reds Rose, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Overall quality was excellent, and the sparkling and still wines should be something to look forward to!