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Bethany Wines 2021 Vintage Report

Finally, some good weather

Despite all that 2020 threw at us, it provided some exceptional conditions for growing high-quality grapes. We could describe the weather for 2020 and early 2021 as having a little bit of everything, but not too much of anything.

We had good winter and spring rains, with total rainfall of around 450 mm. This is about average for Barossa and was welcome after several very dry years.

The weather led to good fruiting conditions and a much more balanced yield than previous drier years.

The growing season then gave us some nice warm conditions but without any concerning heat events. Evening and night temperatures were also on the cooler side. Not great for the sundowners and barbies, but fantastic for grapes. These cooler overnight temperatures are just the sort of recovery and rest conditions needed to retain natural acid and fully develop flavour.

The result is a vintage that allowed all well cared for vineyards to truly express themselves. Our crops were balanced with excellent colour and tannin development. And importantly for us at Bethany, exceptional flavour and aromatic potential - just what we love!

Vintage team

Yet again, we were blessed with a very capable and enthusiastic team for vintage this year. Our new assistant winemaker Riana settled in brilliantly. She was soon doing a sterling job of keeping all 360 tonnes of grapes moving through the winery with great care and attention. 

Riana said “starting in December meant vintage was a bit of a learning curve. I loved processing a range of beautiful fruit from the Barossa and Eden Valley which cemented my love of this wonderful region.”

Our stalwart David (with over 20 years of experience at Bethany) was joined in the cellar by Greg and Cecilia (for her second year at Bethany). They all performed brilliantly during an extremely long vintage period (first pick 21 January, last pressing 28 April).

“Vintage is always a really fun but intense time of the year for us.” said Alex.

It was a longer vintage this year, which kept us busy working with fruit from our own vineyards and those of clients. We all have some exceptional wines to look forward to.

First pick

As we noted above it was a long vintage. We started picking on 21 January with Sauvignon Blanc and finished picking the Durif on 19 April. On 18 February, we picked our first red, the Shiraz from the Bethanien vineyard.

All the wines look exceptional this year in what some are describing as a ‘Unicorn’ vintage. It looks like a very strong year for Shiraz in particular. We’ve had muchbetter yields than the last couple of years, but overall pretty much around average for the region.

And now we wait

We wrapped up Vintage 2021 on 28 April with the last of the reds going into barrel.

And like always, we wait. Well, at least for the reds.

We’ve already released our 2021 First Village Rosé and Riesling and the Late Harvest Riesling. All are available online and if you’re in the Barossa, we’d love to take you through a tasting.