Winery and Vineyard Update

Wine making is a year-round business and there is always something on the go here at Punt Road. At the moment we are about to start bottling the 2019 Punt Road Chardonnay and December will see the 2019 Gamay going to bottle as well.

The 2019 Punt Road Pinot Gris has been released and we think it’s pretty special – made using wild fermentation, skin contact and barrel maturation – these techniques produce a crisp but savoury pinot gris, with notes of nashi pear and citrus.⁠

Keep an eye out for our fresh Airlie Bank labels – let us know what you think if you catch one in the wild.

2020 Harvest Preparation

We have a new wine press arriving in preparation for our 2020 vintage – a result of the trend of ripening times getting closer together across different varieties. It’ll allow us a little more flexibility to press at optimum time of ripeness.

We’ve more or less finalised our harvest team – traditionally young international winemakers join our winery team each season. They’ll stay locally for the season and assist our team in all aspects of the winemaking process. This year we have people coming in from Georgia, France, the US and Argentina.

Barrel Hall Sale

Many thanks to everyone who made it out to our Barrel Hall Sale earlier this month. It was great to see some familiar faces and meet a few new customers too. We’ve started sending out the prize magnums for the competition we ran over the sale and we wanted to thank everyone who took the time to submit a thoughtful entry.

We also just drew our monthly new subscriber competition – lucky Ingrid from Melbourne will be receiving a free six pack in the next few weeks.

Vintage is a wrap and what a vintage it was!

Plentiful frost days and heavy rains in winter delayed budburst, and spring continued in this mild (and wet) fashion. Pinot noir in particular was slow to wake up.  

Berry set was very inconsistent across the different varieties, due to the variable spring weather which ranged from glorious to inclement. Bunch size in pinot gris and pinot noir was very small, whilst chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet set a large crop.

High ground water levels, clear days and cold nights throughout November and December were the harbinger of the vintage to come. We had excellent canopies with slowly developing bunches. The mild conditions persisted into January and February. Warm, sunny days (not too warm) with crisp nights and mornings. Perfect for slow ripening, delicate flavours and acid retention. There was no disease threat from rain, and we harvested at leisure. Blocks came on in their usual order, and we had the luxury of some quality hang time in the older blocks of pinot noir and cabernet.

The vintage has the hallmarks of both 2012 and 2015, with reason to believe it may be a touch better. We are seeing great concentration of flavour, and a touch more complexity than at the same point in those years.

Across the valley, chardonnay will be the highlight. Here at the winery in Coldstream we are particularly excited about sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and gamay. We have also dug deep into the experimental well, and there are many batches in the winery that are well left of centre, to be released to our Punters Club later in the year. Keep an eye out.

– Tim Shand