2020 Vintage: ONE TO BE REMEMBERED – making great wine, under adversity, with great people
2020 Vintage will long be remembered! Obviously first and foremost because of the constraints and uncertainty that COVID19 brought to our workplace and families lives but for us to keep on working in our bubble and pick some real quality fruit while maintaining our great culture speaks wonders to the people of URLAR and we will be forever grateful to be able to bring in a year’s hard work from the vineyard.
Undoubtedly the star of the show was the Pinot Noir with fully filled out clusters due mainly to the exceptional weather we had over flowering and small to medium-sized berries for great intensity. Because of this, we made the call to hand-pick almost all of the Pinot. We were most privileged to be able to finish off a year of hard work in the vineyard by being able to work during the lockdown and we had an amazing group of people to call our bubble.
In the winery, we have a new Pellenc de-stemmer. It is a truly beautiful machine that popped the berries off the stems in such a meticulous manner Jannine spent moments in awe watching the bins fill up with perfectly intact grapes for placing into the vats. Our indigenous ferments motored through in good health and we hand-plunged twice daily and left the juice on skins post-ferment to get the most out of the ripe skins and seeds for structure and longevity.
We had an exceptional team of hard-working international workers helping our core crew during vintage. In the winery we had Luca from France join our own Evie and Jack. They remained focussed and did a fantastic job during what is typically a straining time every year anyway, but more so with friends and family around the globe facing the threat of COVID19 in lockdown. It was without a doubt a stressful time for all. We are blessed to be a smaller operation so we were able to cope with social distancing reasonably easily. We lived in the big house on the property together in our bubble and were incredibly grateful to have Midori, a Japanese chef, as part of our team. She kept our spirits high with plenty of very nutritious and colourful kai. So much so that lunch and evening meals were an absolute highlight for the team – to a point where we are planning to name one of our new Fourdes after her!