The 2023 Torbreck Vintners harvest began on the 21st of February and ended on Thursday, the 11th of May. This was the third consecutive harvest to be affected by the La Nina weather patterns across the district. Although challenging, it has resulted in very strong wines from the Eden Valley and Barossa Districts.
The main influence of these weather patterns on the harvest is the above-average rainfall in winter and spring and the cooler summer, with only one day above 40 degrees recorded in the growing season. This cooler and wetter seasonal cycle naturally delayed the vineyards' budburst, veraison, and harvest. In the Barossa, most vineyards experienced ripening crops slightly above average weights, and due to the cooler season, most vineyards were not harvested until April, approximately one month later than usual.
The majority of the harvest took place in the colder months, compressing the season. In April, temperatures fluctuated between 12 and 20 degrees, with evening temperatures dropping to 2 degrees. Cooler seasons in the Barossa and Eden Valley pose several challenges, such as compromised ripeness due to rain events and disease onset in certain circumstances. However, the upside to a cool season is far greater, and producers and wine enthusiasts alike hold these seasons in high regard.
We faced these seasonal challenges through our dedicated commitment to viticulture practices, such as hand pruning and harvesting with careful soil management, resulting in low-yielding and resilient fruit. The wines of 2023 will display bright colors and freshness from higher natural acidities, auguring them towards greater longevity and detail across the palate.
I look forward to sharing our wines and seasonal adventure over the coming months and years.
Ian Hongell, Chief Winemaker