Written by: Owner, Owen Inglis and Head Viticulturist, Mark Vella
This year was the 9th vintage that I have been managing the Sidewood vineyards and it will be one to remember.
2018 Vintage concluded in mid-April this year after six weeks of consecutive busy days and nights picking fruit. Mother Nature delivered cold nights and mild days to prolong the ripening of fruit and maximise its quality this year which, along with the Sidewood and Vitiworks team who did a fantastic job with their attention to detail and 100% flexibility, meant the season was without major hiccups.
Sidewood’s winery expansion project concluded just in time for vintage which dramatically increased efficiencies and flexibility in the vineyard, allowing us the flexibility with picking our parcel sizes to make sure we capture those ultimate flavour spectrums.
This year we picked the fruit from the top and bottom elevations of the hills in our vineyards separately and half blocks with the remainder being harvested at the end of the week. While this does provide an additional dimension to vintage, we firmly believe it’s the extra 1%’s that makes our vintage stand out from our competition year after year.
Bird pressure was extreme with such a dry Summer this year, but the new bird netting made life extremely relaxing for myself for once. We purchased a container of netting prior to vintage which allowed all red varieties and several premium white blocks to be fully covered.
This year was my 14th vintage in the Adelaide Hills and I am extremely excited with the fruit quality in the vineyard. 2015 was my most recent favourite, but 2018 will be one for the punter to watch!
This is the first vintage of Shiraz grown at Sidewood’s Ironstone Road vineyard. Grafted onto 20-year-old root stock in 2015, Sidewood has now added a further seven new clones of Shiraz to the family.
While this is the first vintage which was of course, low yielding, a number of the single clone ferments are looking excellent and should allow us to bring out a range of different Shiraz wines, possibly based on single clone/single vineyard fruit.
The addition of the seven new clones means Sidewood now has 12 different Shiraz clones to work with across three vineyards, which is the largest selection of Estate Grown Shiraz clones of any winery in the Adelaide Hills.
With Sidewood’s Estate and Mappinga Shiraz already boasting an impressive collection of accolades and global recognition for previous vintages, the quality of the varietal produced from this vintage is one to look out for.