The vineyard is in! Early February, after five hectic months with many overloaded working days and sleepless nights, we finally had all our plants in the ground. A lot of thought went into a thousand details, from row width to trellis system to clonal selection and now this big plan we had in mind for years has ultimately become a reality. We now have our own vineyard and it is truly a nice feeling!
But there was little time to rest and enjoy, as harvest 2019 was already knocking at the door…
In previous years we were fortunate enough to make our wine at the winery we were working at, however with the move to focus on our own venture we had to come up with a new plan. There was very little time so we decided that an old garage on the vineyard would become our winery in the short term. A new door on the front, some good insulation in one of the rooms to make it our barrel room and after a couple of weeks we had a fully functioning winery. We can now proudly say that Utzinger Wines are true “vins de garage”. A big thanks goes out to friends and family all over the state who helped us getting bits and pieces together and lent us some of their equipment, we couldn’t have done it without your help!
Weatherwise, the season 2018 / 2019 was one of the warmest on record for Tasmania. Especially the early season, throughout October brought some almost summer like weather to our state. The dam we had constructed for irrigation just wouldn’t fill up; rainfall was very sparse aside from a heavy thunderstorm mid-December that washed off half of our driveway. January was the warmest and driest on record and definitely didn’t bring the best conditions for our new vineyard. Nonetheless all of our vines went into the ground that month and thanks to some intensive irrigation seem to have withstood these conditions quite well. The end of the season was much kinder to our vines, with some decent rainfall and much cooler days.
Again we were fortunate enough to find top quality fruit for the 2019 vintage and we were even able to get a tiny bit more than previous years. For this fruit, coming from a cooler corner in the North of the state, the warmer climatic conditions this year were ideal to fully ripen and develop the flavour profile. Being from old, dry grown vines with very low yields we are confident that our 2019 wines will show a lot of depth in flavour and long lasting elegance. A couple of new wines are in the making too, but more on that and first tasting notes from our soon to be released 2018 wines in our next newsletter (if you are not already signed up, stay connected here)