Vintage and Harvest 20206 March 2020 – posted in: Winery

Although Cupitt’s Estate have not been directly impacted by fire damage, the continued presence of smoke in the Shoalhaven since early December 2019 means that our vineyards have been affected by smoke taint causing the 2020 vintage to be reduced.

Cupitt’s Estate and the grape growers we work with in Hilltops, Orange, Tumbarumba and Canberra, have had their grapes tested by the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and await the results. We have also been conducting micro ferments in our laboratory. Based on our testing, we have decided not to harvest any of our vineyards for wine production. Furthermore, the results that many of our growers have received have demonstrated it is too risky to proceed with any NSW fruit in areas where grapes have been affected by smoke taint.

If tainted grapes are made into wine, they will have unpredictable levels of undesirable characters, and this will generally get worse over time. Thankfully due to our contacts in Victoria and South Australia, we can source fruit to ensure we still have a 2020 vintage, albeit the amount of fruit will be significantly reduced compared to previous years.

This will have some impact on some of the wine varieties available in 2021, however, we want to assure all our friends and supporters that we will not run out of wine! Being an agricultural business, we know that we are entirely dependent on the weather and losing a vintage is always a possibility. In anticipation of a situation just like this, we have a reserve supply of wine which has been stored in our museum cellar.

The NSW 2020 vintage with severe drought and unprecedented bushfire events has made it a very tough year for the Australian wine industry and farming in general. We urge everyone to continue to support their local wine industry to help get through these tough times. Our hearts go out to all the growers in wine regions around the country who have suffered, particularly the growers and wineries directly impacted by bushfires in Tumbarumba and Adelaide Hills.