Vintage 2024

Grape harvest and vintage is taking place very early this year - “unprecedented” is the word being bandied about, but every growing season is unique! In early November after a milder, wetter winter it looked like the forecast El Niño conditions had taken a hold. However, repeated cycles of heat, storms with heavy rain and unusual humidity encouraged the vines to deliver ripe fruit at the end of January and into February, not only compressing the vintage into just a few weeks but also a month or more earlier than usual.

Short Sheep has taken delivery of Vermentino, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and the excitement of wine-making - the colour, the aroma, the flavour, and the character - has struck me again, though always keeping in front of mind my wine-making philosophy: “respect the fruit” and “keep it simple”. I'm interested in producing characterful wines minimally handled and nurtured rather than manipulated!

A crisp, tropical Vermentino is now resting in tank naturally settling out the now redundant yeast cells and solids. This year's Chardonnay was wild (i.e. naturally) fermented on full solids - no juice clarification. In order to soften acidity and enhance mouth-feel the Chardonnay and fully wild-fermented Shiraz are now crackling their way through malo-lactic fermentation in barrel.