Vintage Reports

2020 Vintage Report

2020 marks the 40th vintage for Bethany Wines. We always knew it would be a challenging vintage after another dry summer. But no-one could have imaged we'd be making wine during a global pandemic.

Winemaker Alex MacLelland shares his thoughts about the 2020 vintage in a blog post.

2019 Vintage Report

Each year brings generous sunshine, plenty of cooling breezes and enough rainfall to keep everything going smoothly however 2019 was the vintage that proved this is not always so. A dry growing season followed a very dry spring and winter. This would have been challenging enough. But then frost and hail in November had a huge impact on flowering. The outcome was that 2019 saw some incredibly low yields, particularly with Shiraz. The stories were heard through the valley, spreading quickly as bad news often does. Harvesters running for 12 hours to pick one tonne, blocks that normally yield 20 tonnes bringing in four. At Bethany we had a couple of these stories, but overall we still had reasonable yields. This was in part because of the slightly different weather that our little corner of the Barossa experiences. Eden Valley Rieslings with exquisite perfume and fine balance. Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet with concentration, deep colour, ripe tannins and strong balanced flavours. There wasn’t much fruit in 2019, but what there was, was awfully good

2018 Vintage Report

It is often quoted that the even years are the best in the Barossa. Vintage conditions in 2018 were slightly more challenging than in the previous couple of vintages. This was because of warm and dry conditions.The winter and spring rainfalls in 2017 were adequate and provided good canopy cover heading into summer. January and February were very dry, with some very warm temperatures in February slowing fruit ripening for a period. We harvested the whites (apart from Eden Valley Riesling) in early February, so they escaped any heat effects. The wines are showing excellent fruit expression and balance. Shiraz was most affected by the heat, with the natural harvest dates being delayed. Flavours continued to develop well and the wines have excellent colour, tannin development and full balanced flavour profiles. We harvested other red varieties without excessive vineyard stress, and they show exceptional fruit and structural balance. 

2017 Vintage Report

As grape growers and winemakers, the weather is pretty important to us. So we have fancy apps on our phones that predict rain, wind, heat and frosts with varying accuracy. We spend a great deal of time during vintage on these apps. We try to match forecasts with fruit maturity, the availability of picking crews and fermentation space in the cellar. It can be a stressful time, but I’m pleased to say that Vintage 2017 was a pleasure. For our little patch on the Eastern ridge of the Barossa Foothills, weather conditions this year were perfect. Warm ripening days, cool nights and a couple of splashes of rain in January and February. Then a wonderful Indian summer through March and April which allowed long, slow ripening of the grapes. The fruit we harvested was perfectly ripe, with balanced flavours, good natural acidity, and balanced sugar levels. All this means one thing – great wines. We started on 19 February picking Semillon and finished picking Mataro on 25 April.