A great year in the vineyard, improved vineyard practices, a good winemaker, new french oak, gold medal wine - what more can you ask for.
2016 was a great year in our vineyard. So good, in fact, that our On the Fly Chardonnay was one of two chardonnays awarded a gold medal in the 2017 Winewise Small Vigneron Awards. We were pretty chuffed given this was only the third vintage of our On the Fly Chardonnay since we started producing our own wines in 2012.
On seeing our grapes freshly handpicked, our winemaker, Alex Mackay, said it was textbook chardonnay - ticking all the boxes for good quality fruit.
We had made improvements in our vineyard practices and put in more time and effort to ensure the success of the crop.
Tumbarumba is a great cold climate wine growing area but that means frosts after budburst can be quite damaging. The 2016 season presented its usual threats but fortunately the frosts did not linger long enough to damage the vineyard. Mind you, there was still a lot of angst getting through this period - sort of like sending your children out to play near a highway and hoping they stay out of danger. The rest of the season was very favourable - lots of long hot days and cool nights.Tumbarumba's annual music and wine festival, Tumbafest, occurred right in the middle of vintage. Overcoming logistical challenges, our three daughters visited from Brisbane and Sydney for the festival. Filled with distant memories of helping out in our vineyard for ice-creams, we were not able to convince them to stay for the 2016 chardonnay grape pick. However, they are very happy to sample and endorse the resulting wine.
So what makes our 2016 chardonnay extra special? Was it the beautiful, disease-free fruit? Or the quick delivery to the wine making facilities? Or the excellent skills of our winemaker, Alex Mackay? Or the contribution of the new french oak barrels? No doubt the combination of these ingredients have contributed. Our aim was always to produce high quality grapes for high quality wines. This chardonnay definitely has brought a smile to our faces and set the bar for future vintages.