LAST year the Hunter's historic Mount Pleasant winery fell victim to drought and bushfire smoke taint and produced no wine - but a year on, 2021 is promising a great vintage from its soil.
Wine growing at the Pokolbin site dates back to 1880. Mount Pleasant has some of Australia's greatest vineyards like the 32.6 hectares on Marrowbone Road, 31.1 hectares of Lovedale in Wine Country Drive and 26.9 hectares of Rosehill in Broke Road.
Some picking has begun in the valley and Mount Pleasant's chief winemaker-general manager, Adrian Sparks, expects to begin the harvest next week, with his vineyards "looking amazing".
That, however, was dependent on fine weather over the coming three weeks.
Brokenwood senior winemaker Stuart Hordern agrees, as he expects to commence picking his grapes later next week.
His vineyards, which had 400 millimetres of rain in 2019, had 1030 millimetres of rain during 2020, which restored vine health.
Brokenwood's 2020 red harvest was 85 per cent below average and semillon was down 40 per cent but the 2021 grape crop looked excellent, he said.
Broke-based Margan Wines last week began picking grapes for its sparkling wines and owner Andrew Margan is stepping up picking this week.
Margan said recent rain had increased disease risks but the cool ripening period had been beneficial.
His 2020 harvest had been down 35 per cent but 2021 semillon and red grape tonnage promised to be above average, while chardonnay and verdelho would be below. A major plus, had been booming wine sales from retail, cellar door and online.
"Fingers are crossed now for sunny weather," he said.
Fingers are crossed now for sunny weather.
The Tyrrell's family wine company, which virtually wrote off a 2020 harvest and produced only 10% of its usual volume of wine, may do a small 2021 pick on Friday but doesn't expect to begin major harvesting until Monday week. Tyrrell's managing director Bruce Tyrrell said, given sunny weather, the 2021 vintage was promising a 20 per cent above average grape tonnage with great fruit flavours.