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News

Vintage 2023 - WINEMAKING VINTAGE WRAP UP

Vintage 2023 was a real rollercoaster ride; the initial excitement and anticipation, the ups and downs as we made our way through harvest and finally the feeling of satisfaction when you make it to the end in one piece!

It was one of the more challenging years in terms of weather, a very long cool ripening season punctuated with ongoing rain events in McLaren Vale.   Both winter and spring had higher than average rainfall, resulting in delayed budburst and late ripening for nearly all varieties. Wet and windy weather at flowering also contributed to lower crop levels across the board.  Disease pressure was higher than normal for the area early on in the season however did not end up being a significant ongoing issue fortunately.  Harvest was drawn out and unpredictable as Mother Nature played havoc with picking decisions. The BOM rain forecast was essential viewing for growers and winemakers alike this year!  Much credit is due to our wonderful growers who persisted through some tricky conditions this season, it truly was a team effort getting the grapes harvested and into the winery (often very quickly when the rain clouds rolled in!)

However after all this, the wines themselves in McLaren Vale are shining.  No heat waves has also meant the wines are full of power and bright fresh fruit. Amazing natural colour and acidity due to the cool season.  These wines are the rainbow after the storm and it will be really exciting to see them blossom over time. We already have the 2023 Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc in bottle ready to enjoy and our 2023 Pinot Noir will not be far off.  All other parcels are tucked safely in barrels for the winter, quietly biding their time and maturing into what I'm sure will be some delicious wines to share in the coming months and years....

Cheers,
Bec Swincer

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History

Bec’s family has been tending vineyards in the McLaren Vale since the early 1850s when her great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Hardy, arrived from the UK.

Thomas Hardy was the region’s first settler and is widely regarded as the father of the South Australian wine industry. In 1980, Bec’s father Geoff left the then family-owned Hardys to make his own way in the Australian wine world. Inspired by her father’s passion for cultivating premium fruit and producing fine wines, Bec also went on to study and work in the wine industry in both Australia and overseas, including for her father’s company Wines by Geoff Hardy.

In 2015, Bec decided to make her own way in the Australian wine word and founded Bec Hardy Wines. In 2020, she acquired the Pertaringa wine brand from Wines by Geoff Hardy, becoming the first woman in the family to own vineyards and produce her own wine.

The Hardy family connection continues with family members John and Helen Hardy growing fruit for Bec Hardy Wines at their Lower Tintara vineyard. This vineyard was originally planted by Thomas Hardy and is only 2km from Bec’s own Tipsy Hill vineyard in Blewitt Springs. In close collaboration with Bec, John and Helen are also planting new varieties specifically for Bec Hardy Wines.

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Vineyards

For us, ‘sustainability’ is a life long journey that underpins everything we do. At every stage of the business, we reflect on whether we’re acting in a way that is positive for our planet, our flora and fauna, and for the generations that will live beyond us.

My grandmother, Dr Barbara ‘Baba’ Hardy AO was a founding member of the not-for-profit Nature Foundation. Growing up around such an inspirational influence made me super conscious of the responsibility we have to the land around us. 

We’re so fortunate to live and work in one of the most beautiful pockets of the world, but we can’t pretend winemaking doesn’t have its impact on the environment. As a small, family business, it can be even harder to operate sustainably, as often the responsible choices are the more expensive ones.  

Here are some of the ways we try to incorporate a philosophy of sustainability in everything we do:

South Australia has an enviable climate for grape-growing, but as the driest state in the country, vines do on occasion need additional water to thrive. We continue to look at ways to reduce our reliance on irrigation, as well as ways to reduce the use of herbicides and fertilisers. 

Our Lot 94 vineyard in Blewitt Spings is dry grown. When Bec's father Geoff, one of Australia's leading viticulturists planted this vineyard around 35 years ago he deliberately didn't install an irrigation system. 

Since our acquisition of the vineyard at Tipsy Hill in Blewitt Springs in 2016, we've been reducing our water usage each season as we learn more about the tolerances and behaviour of the vines, gradually moving away from reliance on irrigation. 

Sheep grazing in winter and spring reduces the need for herbicides and fertilisers to take care of weeds and young shoots, It also negates the use of fuel and greenhouse gases emissions form running a tractor down the vines. Plus, beetles from sheep dung burrow down below the surface, taking nutirents with them.

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Winemaking

Plants: We've replaced a lot of the previous owners' European plants that (while beautiful) required a lot of water and pesticides to flourish. We've substituted several with natvie plants, more accustomed to the soil and climate of South Australia, as well as being more drought - and - disease- roof. 

Pesticides: We've dramamtically reduced the use of insecticides and will fully eliminate them in 2022 through the major removal of 60 non-native pencil pines, replacing them with the native Lilly Pilly Striaght & Narrow - this will reduce water consuption by a further 5,000 litres per week. 

Waste: Tipsy Hill has nine compost bins! We compost all kitchen and garden waste and return this to the garden over time, improving soil health and water retention. Larger gardne waste is mulched, whcih helps retain m moisture in the soil and return nutrients. 

Power: We've insatlled sola panels which has the additional benefit of reducing our energy costs by 70%.

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Inside information

The Hardy name has been synonymous with South Australian wine since the 1850s and Bec Hardy continues that tradition, building on the experience and reputation of her predecessors with a modern twist on 170 years of winemaking heritage. 

Bec is now making her own way in the Australian wine world with her own strategic approach to brand and business growth. Established in 2015, Bec Hardy Wines is a family-owned wine business based in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

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11 different wines with 13 vintages

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