Don’t be surprised to see big smiles on everyone’s faces throughout the Yarra Valley for the next 12 months. Growers who escaped the humid patch of weather unscathed around Christmas time have been rewarded with decent-sized crops and tremendous ripening conditions throughout February and March. Likewise, winemakers have good reason to have a pep in their step as the overall quality of the wines looks exceptional. Early stand-outs at this stage are Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet which are showing excellent depth of flavour and intensity. It always takes a few months for Pinot Noir to show it’s true character so we’ll wait until winter is over before we declare it “the best ever”. A big thanks to all our growers who have once again done a fantastic job producing beautiful fruit.
The Rob Dolan cellar team this year has worked tirelessly for around 6 weeks without being slowed down by rain, extreme heat or storm events as there was none to speak of. This lead to vintage being somewhat compressed and hectic with the crew managing to oversee and care for over 130 batches of wine. The increased workload means we invite other winemakers in to help which always breathes new life into our cellar. This year we had quite a diverse team in terms of ethnicity, age, gender and past experience but I like to believe our shared passion for making great wine brings us together and really helps to make something special. As things slowly return to normal after vintage and us winemakers diffuse back into society, we’ll fondly remember this vintage as being a great year not only for making wine but for making friends and sharing lots of good times. We look forward to proudly sharing these wines with everyone as they’re released into the wild over the coming months.