Vintage 2021 was an exemplary year with fine wines and good yields. Growing season rainfall was marginally below average and temperatures were mild, ensuring vine canopies remained healthy. Vintage weather was absolutely perfect throughout, with dry mild-warm days and cool nights ensuring even and steady ripening across all varieties.
The Viticulturist & the Vineyard
Will Holmes is incredibly active in the grape growing community. With an extensive knowledge of the region’s complex water issues, he freely shares his time and knowledge with fellow growers. Will follows sustainable practices with a strong emphasis placed into improving soil health for future generations.
“Woodbridge Farm Grenache was planted in 2005 on the red brown loam soils that dominate the Gomersal sub region. It was picked on the 19th of March after a nice easy run through the growing season. The growing season really was text book with good Spring rains and a warm start to Summer that seemed to fade out as we went into February. A reasonably cool February really saw the Woodbridge Grenache as a highlight from the 2021 vintage.”
– Will Holmes
The Winemaker & the Winemaking
John Hughes is widely admired for his commitment to the wine community through his behind the scenes work with the Barossa Wine Show and Riesling Eden Valley. His Rieslingfreak label is a fantastic homage to the Riesling grape. He founded the successful Kicking Goals Scholarship program, providing mentorship and educational funding for young people living with a disability.
“This is a Grenache focused on showcasing the vineyard of viticulturist Will Holmes, with his vineyard in Gomersal. Made in a very soft style, the grapes were hand-picked, and crushed and destemmed at the winery. Following a cool fermentation process, using a very Germanic German Riesling yeast, we treated the berries very softly, with short pumpovers, before pressing the berries and maturing the wine in large format old oak. The wine was then bottled in December, to ensure the freshness of this wine was captured.”
– John Hughes
“Medium-deep crimson. A fun wine here showing genuine subtlety of flavour with intense redcurrant, red plum, sweet fruit aromas. Well concentrated red plum, redcurrant sweet fruit flavours, fine loose-knit chalky textures, attractive richness and integrated acidity make for a delicious early-drinking style with attractive juicy freshness. Now-2026”
Andrew Caillard MW and Angus Hughson
– The Vintage Journal Barossa Guide 2022
“Who would have thought the self-proclaimed “Rieslingfreak” John Hughes has the ability to put as much time and energy into Grenache as he does his beloved Riesling. Blow me down, he’s done it and spectacularly so. This is a bright, buoyant, beautifully executed red. John had stellar fruit with which to work thanks to Barossa Viticulturist of the Year Will Holmes. The nose is subtle, alluring and pretty. There’s tart rhubarb across the palate and a fresh, bright, perky finish. The perfect accompaniment to a table heaving with rustic share plates and animated conversation with good mates. Bravo”
Katie Spain – Wine Critic
Artwork by Isabella MacKenzie, Faith Lutheran College student