Winter rainfall in Eden Valley (at the Mount Crawford weather station) totalled 274.8mm, 5% below average. However, rainfall across the region was quite sporadic, with other vineyards only recording 230-250mm. August was the wettest month for the winter period, with 19 days of the month recording some precipitation resulting in the month recording a rainfall total 11% above average. Despite this rainfall replenishing soil profiles, many dams, which much of the region rely on did not fill, so the rainfall continuing into September and October was welcomed and delayed the start to the irrigation season. The La Nina weather pattern did not bring rain to South Australia and from November dry conditions ensued. Growing season rainfall (October-March) was 20% below average with only February recording above average rainfall (20-30 mm), due to some tropical moist air coming south.
Temperatures were relatively mild for much of the growing season, providing ideal conditions for growth and berry development. November being the critical month for flowering and fruit set in Eden Valley was 3.46°C warmer than average. However, the strong winds that are often associated with flowering at this time were largely absent, allowing good fruit set. Following November, maximum temperatures were below average for the remainder of the season. Minimum temperatures fell close to zero on 26 September, but thankfully no other frost events were experienced in spring 2020.
During spring and summer, night time temperatures were below average, and diurnal differences were above average. These cool nights are critical to and the hallmark for the quality of grapes and wines from the Eden Valley, allowing the vines to rest, and aromatic flavours, finesse and natural acidity to be maintained. The mild daytime conditions provided optimal ripening conditions, allowing fruit flavours to develop.
Whilst yields across the region were varied depending on the water supply, they were mostly higher than vintage 2020.
Quality is exceptional from the 2021 Eden Valley vintage. Whites are fine with amazing natural acid and intense flavours. Reds are flavourful and deeply coloured. A vintage for now and the long term.