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Katnook Estate

News and Blog


Katnook Estate
 
19 April 2018 | Katnook Estate

Final report on Vintage 2018

Vintage is over for another year at Katnook Coonawarra and early reports are that 2018 is shaping up to be a fantastic year.  Harvest began early on February 6th and finished late on April 12th.  It was drier and warmer than average, with crops down by about a third, due to a spring frost.

Katnook Coonawarra General Manager of Viticulture, Chris Brodie reported this early start to vintage was despite late budburst.  He says, “The spring leading up to the 2018 vintage at Katnook Coonawarra was wet, providing good soil moisture which gave the vines an excellent start, with very little early season irrigation required. Temperatures were relatively warm which also encouraged good vine growth, especially in newly planted areas. 

A significant late frost in early November caused crop losses throughout Coonawarra, Wrattonbully and Padthaway. Katnook’s crop was subsequently down by around 30%, with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at Founder’s Block level most affected. In mid November, we experienced heavy rainfall of around 75mm in one day but thereafter enjoyed warm, clear conditions for the rest of vintage. 

In mid-January, most of southern Australia, including Coonawarra had several days of heatwave conditions, which brought forward the first day of vintage by about 3 weeks to February 6th with Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir for sparkling wine. Harvest continued at an even pace and finished with the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon on April 12th.

In summary, the 2018 season was significantly warmer and drier than usual as seen in the chart below.  Grape flavours across all varieties are better than they have ever been, we have some excited winemakers in the region!

Temperature and Rainfall - 2018 vs average.
2018 season vs average for past 40 years Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
Rainfall mm ,actual 45 39 59 11 13 6 14
Rainfall mm, average 66 48 41 32 26 18 28
Temperature degrees C, actual 11.5 14.8 19.4 17.8 21.2 20.9 20.3
Temperature degrees C, average 11.7 13.3 15.7 17.5 19.4 19.7 17.6

Katnook’s Vintage Winemaker, Greg Clayfield with his wealth of winemaking experience has superbly steered our team though Vintage 2018 and will stay with us until Tim Heath starts as Senior Winemaker this June. 

Greg reports, “Ideal, even ripening conditions lead to a very controlled harvest and crush schedule, with all varieties picked at optimum maturity. A key factor was the sustained dry season , with neither rainfall nor temperature extremes having any influence.

Flavours are very promising with Riesling and Shiraz the standouts.  A significant amount of work was put into smaller scale Shiraz ferments, incorporating hand-picked whole bunches. The subsequent wines will make a significant contribution when the Shiraz blends are finalised.

Cabernet Sauvignon are rich, elegant and distinctly regional.  After the very early start in February the last fruit, Cabernet Sauvignon, was picked quite late on April 12th.

The winery is currently pressing the last of the red ferments, racking wines off gross lees, filling off wines into oak, encouraging malo-lactic fermentations and conducting full laboratory analyses on finished wines.   A significant contributor to the smooth running of the winery was the input of Jo Ahearn MW in her role as Vintage Winemaker.  Jo is a star multi tasker, bringing experience ranging from winemaking in the Barossa Valley to managing a large winery in New South Wales, working in the London Wine Trade through to now operating her own winery and brand in Croatia.  

In short, 2018 was a very good Coonawarra vintage here at Katnook.”

 

 

Katnook Estate
 
16 March 2018 | Katnook Estate

Katnook welcomes new Senior Winemaker

Katnook Coonawarra is delighted to announce the appointment of new Senior Winemaker, Tim Heath, who will start in the role in June 2018. 

Tim is currently Senior Winemaker at one of the world’s most successful wineries, Cloudy Bay Vineyards, New Zealand, where he has pursued his passion for the last fourteen years. During this time, Tim has been responsible for all facets of crafting Cloudy Bay’s internationally renowned wine styles, as well as overseeing winery infrastructure and expansion.  Tim has extensive experience promoting wine and liaising with key opinion leaders in national and international markets. 
 
Prior to Tim’s move to Cloudy Bay, he was Winemaker at Mountadam in the Barossa Valley, during which time he assisted with vintage at Cave de Tain-l'Hermitage, Northern Rhone, France.  Tim has visited most major French, Spanish and German wine regions, rounding out his international approach to winemaking.

Born and raised in Australia, Tim began studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Adelaide, before transferring to a Bachelor of Oenology when he realised that winemaking “looked like too much fun to be considered a ‘real’ job”. He graduated from Oenology with First Class Honours, completing a thesis entitled ‘The development of non-destructive photo-chemical assay to measure the ingress of oxygen into bottled wine through various closures.’

Speaking of his new role, Tim said “I’m excited to be joining the team at Katnook, an Estate which has some of the finest terroir in the Coonawarra region, as well as incredible pedigree and history.”

Katnook’s Executive Director of Operations and Finance, Chris Pike, said of the appointment, “We are thrilled that someone of Tim’s winemaking calibre has accepted this role. Tim brings a wealth of international expertise and creative flair that is certain to build on the great legacy left by Wayne Stehbens and to take Katnook Coonawarra into an exciting future.”
 

Katnook Estate
 
6 February 2018 | Katnook Estate

Vintage 2018 begins

The 2018 vintage at Katnook Coonawarra began today with harvest of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meuniere for sparkling wine base.  General Manager of Viticulture Chris Brodie explains the story so far, “The spring leading up to the 2018 vintage at  Katnook Coonawarra was wet, providing good soil moisture which gave the vines an excellent start, with very little early season irrigation required. Temperatures were relatively warm which also encouraged good vine growth, especially in newly planted areas.  Bud burst was later than usual.

A significant late frost in early November caused crop losses throughout Coonawarra, Wrattonbully and Padthaway. Katnook’s crop will subsequently be down by around 20%, with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at Founder’s Block level most affected.  In mid November we experienced heavy rainfall of around 75mm in one day but we then enjoyed warm, clear conditions.  In mid January, most of southern Australia, including Coonawarra had several days of heatwave conditions, which brought forward the first day of vintage to February 6th.

At this early stage, the vines are in good condition and the crop load is moderate, so we are upbeat about the quality of the resulting wines.” 


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