Unicorns and Rainbows…

Wine / Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Shall we talk about something a little more positive than the obvious topic?!

A few weeks back, Wine Australia released its Annual Vintage Report. 

We all had a pretty good idea that vintage 2021 was pretty good. BUT… the numbers confirmed it was even better than we’d expected!

The Australian wine sector produced a record crop of 2.03 million tonnes in 2021. That’s 31 per cent higher than the 2020 vintage and 19 percent above the 2019 vintage!

Wine Australia General Manager, Corporate Affairs and Regulation Rachel Triggs said 2021 was being described as a ‘unicorn’ vintage because of the rare combination of events leading to both exceptional quality and good crop size.

Those events included…

  • Good fruit set
  • Plenty of water at the right time
  • lack of heatwaves
  • low disease pressure
  • favourable harvest conditions (ie. it wasn’t too hot or raining)

It will go down as one of the biggest yielding, best growing and easiest harvest seasons in recent memory. Hoorah!


Pretty much every growing region around Australia had a fabulous vintage. But seeing we’re in the Adelaide Hills, let’s have a closer look at our numbers…



The reported crush of Adelaide Hills winegrapes in 2021 was 29,991 tonnes. This is up 149 per cent compared with 2020 (12,049 tonnes) and the largest reported crush since 2008. It was also 33 per cent above the five-year average.

The total value of winegrapes in 2021 increased by $32 million (164 percent) to $51.5 million. This was due to the increased production combined with an overall increase in the average purchase value of grapes (up by 6 per cent from $1626 to $1718 per tonne)

There were increases in average prices for the three largest varieties:

  • Pinot Noir up by 7 per cent to $1994 per tonne,
  • Sauvignon Blanc up 5 percent to $1510 per tonne, and
  • Chardonnay up by 5 per cent to $1768 per tonne.

There were 30 hectares of new vines planted in the region in the 2020–21 season compared with 19 hectares in the previous season. The plantings were predominantly split between the major varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The total vineyard area in the Adelaide Hills as at 30 April 2021 is 3725 hectares – a small net reduction (35 hectares) since 2020 and 93 hectares less than the total area five years ago. Most of this is probably attributed to the areas destroyed by fire at the end of 2019.


If you want to find out all the stats from your second favourite wine region (becasue of course the Adelaide Hills is your favourite!) then you can read the whole report here.


Lockdown special

Let’s briefly mention that nasty “L” word for just a minute.

Yes, a good proportion of the country is in lockdown right now. But we’re still able to pack orders and get them on their way to you should you need a top up to see you through.

For our club members nation wide (lockdown or no lockdown), we sent a special offer to you on Tuesday morning. Check your inboxes now if you missed it. 

The general gist was something about 10% off your already dicounted club prices. There was also something in there about almonds, but you;ll have to read to email for all the details!

Didn’t get the email? Let me know here.

Not a club member? Join the Jockey Club here or email me for more details.

2 Replies to “Unicorns and Rainbows…”

  1. Does this mean that 2021 vintage should be considered for longer term cellaring/ keeping?
    Should us members be clever and buy lots for mid/late 2020’s?

  2. Hey Steven,
    I’d say so! While the winemaker has the final say on what the finished product will be like, having clean (ie. no disease), ripe grapes is a fabulous start. I imagine vintage 2021 will end up similar to 2002 (which didn’t have any massive fluctuations in temperature throughout the growing/ripening period). And 2002 produced some sensational wines! So, if I were a smart club member I would definitely grab some 2021 wines for immediate consumption and cellaring (Chardonnay, Pinot, Tempranillo and Shiraz in particular)!!

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