McLaren Vale | 2001
The 2001 vintage provided the grape growers and winemakers of McLaren Vale with one of their most challenging harvests. Despite some adversity in conditions, the rewards for those with skill and good management were bountiful with some exceptional wine being produced — particularly red wines.
The 2000-2001 growing season provided the region with one of its best winters, resulting in very good and consistent fruit set. Summer commenced in a normal manner until January when extended hot periods accelerated the ripening period. While the number of concurrent high temperature days was abnormal, the grapes remained in good condition, no doubt due the beneficial winter rains and improved canopy protection adopted by the region’s growers. As a result while earlier ripening varieties came on very early, later varieties particularly reds achieved good sugar levels, richness of colour, and creditable balance. Overall yields were up considerably on the 2000 vintage, while new vineyards also contributed to what was expected to be a record crop.
The vintage started in the first week of February with full vintage under-way by the third week in February. The weather was particularly unsettled with higher than normal temperatures and above average rainfall. After Easter weather pattern returned to ideal autumn conditions, although by then much of the crop was in.