2020 Vintage Report by Bronson Kies


If you had to sum up vintage 2020 in a few dot points, what would they be?

  • We put the winemaking and wine quality first. We never compromised or took shortcuts, even if it meant working long hours.
  • We welcomed extremely high quality fruit but most yields were down by 60-70%.
  • We experienced some teething issues with brand new equipment, but we were able to get though it without compromising the wine.
  • There is amazing natural acidity in the wine so very few acid additions were needed.
  • The colour and flavour is amazing and the fruit that came in has been very clean.
  • We worked long days with no days off, but despite this Adrian (Assistant Winemaker) and I kept it light hearted and always did what was best for the wine.
  • We had the luxury of picking fruit at the exact moment of ripeness, due to the ample tank space in our new winery.

Which parcel of fruit was your favourite to process in vintage 2020 and why?

The Klauber Block Shiraz. I spent a few months cane pruning these beautiful old vines last year, with two canes per vine and using arch wrapping.

The fruit had immense flavour in the berries and was very clean. It had a dream ferment with no issues; it went through like clock work. Although we do have a few other special parcels for reds which I was also very excited to process.

We are about to release your very first wine, the 2020 Hill Block Riesling. Can you describe how you made this wine?

With a lot of patience and passion.

I was also able to prune this block so it was great to complete the entire process from vine to bottle.

The Riesling was picked, crushed, destemmed over the sorting table, and then pressed into tank, an addition of settling enzymes to the press tray helped the solids settle out over 5 days with the juice held very cold.

We then racked off the clear juice from the solids and when the clarified juice was at the correct temp it was inoculated with yeast.

It was then fermented low and slow for 17 days. It was a clean ferment so minimal nutrients were needed.

The wine was cold stabilised and cross-flowed onsite before being sent to bottling. Barossa Bottling tweaked the SO₂, Co₂ and DO before sterile filtration and then it was bottled using insert glass.

What were some of the highlights of vintage 2020 for you? 

  • The first crush with the family there.
  • The “crush it” day: A day I spent with 20 close friends, hand-picking the fruit for a new label that I am working on. Watch this space!
  • Showing my daughter and wife the winery.
  • The innovative winery design and its ease of functionality. I wouldn’t change the design even slightly!
  • The Friday lunch time bbq where we would cook some T-bones in butter and a side serve of sauerkraut.

A note from Bronson:

I want to sincerely thank you, our customers, many of whom have become close friends over the years, my family, mates and my mentor, for all the support during vintage.

Without you guys this just would not have been possible!

As my 2020 wines roll out to market over the next 3 years, I hope you can all come on a journey with me, tasting and experiencing my first vintage as the winemaker of my family business.

Thanks again for your support and cheers!

Bronson Kies
Want to try one of Bronson’s wines?
Pre-order your 6 pack of 2020 Hill Block Riesling, Bronson’s first wine release, click here.
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