Success hangs in the balance of one vintage wine for Darling Downs producers

Twisted Gum winery owner Michelle Coelli the challenges of 2020 had her entire team concerned – all the pressure for a successful season lay on their Vintage 2021.What they produced was nothing short of a miracle. The weather was against them, COVID-19 hit, buds were flowering too early, and when drought-breaking rain arrived and overcast conditions cast a shadow over crops, growth was slowed to a halt. The pressure was on with previous vintages impacted by bushfires and our worst ever recorded drought, coinciding with a massive spike in demand for local wines.With all the odds stacked against them, the team at Twisted Gum, and other wineries across the Darling Downs were able to create a Vintage 2021 drop that will be remembered for the ages. Mrs Coelli said they were initially concerns for the crop due to some heavy wind during flowering, but those concerns faded quickly. “We shouldn’t have worried, as 2021 has seen our second highest yielding vintage ever, and the quality is outstanding,” she said. Ridgemill Estate owner Martin Cooper said a spot of frost hit two of their crops hard, but the results defied expectation. “That black frost hit our Tempranillo and Saperavi hard, but we’re pleasantly surprised with the vintage, particularly our Shiraz which looks to be the best we’ve seen from this vineyard,” he said. While marginally less pressure on the next drop, Vintage 2022 looks to be successful thanks to a late bout of rain that will kick the new growing season in Spring. 2021 is predicted to be a stellar year for Granite Belt whites, and the early reds such as Tempranillo, Pinotage and Barbera.

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