As we enjoy a moment to take a breather from our bustling lives, reflect on the past year, and eagerly embrace the adventures that 2024 holds, I sit back and ponder… and I can’t help but chuckle at the naïve dream I once had of a peaceful vineyard retirement project. Fast forward 16 years and here we are, not slowing down, but ramping up, living and loving the dream that’s taken on a whole life of its own.
As I rewind the tape on 2023, I remember a year filled with laughter, challenges, and a lot of heart, so let’s dive into the highlights:
A Vintage of Distinction and Vineyard Triumphs
The heartbeat of Brockenchack lies in our vineyard, and the 2023 vintage was nothing short of extraordinary. With a later start than usual, the first harvest on March 22nd marked the commencement of an eight-week spectacle. The allure of a cooler and wetter growing season defined the vintage, bringing with it abundant canopy growth. Lower temperatures extended the ripening period, and our vineyard, thriving under the added moisture, delivered yields that exceeded expectations. The 2023 vintage showcased the exceptional potential of our vineyard, particularly for red and white varietals.
Marked in History – Milestone Moments
This year, we celebrated significant milestones with the opening of our brand-new state-of-the-art winery and the commencement of the inaugural crush. The rhythmic hum of the bottling plant echoed for 16 days, as it was put to the test bottling some of your favourites. These developments mark a new chapter in Brockenchack history and in our winemaking journey, promising even more exceptional wines for you to savour for years to come.
A Fresh Look for Our Labels
Change is in the air, with our labels receiving a stunning makeover. A label refresh breathes new life into our bottles, reflecting the timeless elegance and innovation that define our brand. These will start to trickle into the New Zealand market come 2024.
Our doors opened wide to welcome many guests to our luxury B&Bs. They are the cozy corner of paradise you never knew you needed. Nestled in the heart of Eden Valley, they’re more than accommodation; they’re a getaway for the soul. If you haven’t experienced the bliss of a Brockenchack night, you’re missing out on a sip of heaven.
Accolades and Awards
Cue the applause! We’re thrilled to share the recognition our wines received on the world stage in 2023. Among the standout achievements is the highest honour for our 2019 William Frederick Shiraz, which clinched the Best Australian Shiraz Trophy at the IWC 2023. We also proudly accepted 1 Double Gold award, 6 Gold medals, 8 Silver Medals, and were awarded scores of 98 out of 100, as well as 96, 95, 94, right through to 90. We are immensely proud of these results. These accolades are not just for us; they’re a testament to the passion and expertise that goes into every bottle.
Brockenchack soared to new heights in 2023, taking our wines international. From South Korea to New Zealand, Malaysia to the UK, France to Switzerland, and across the USA, our wines made a global statement. Wine trips and tastings resonated with enthusiasts on every continent.
New Zealand Expansion
Team member Megan, based over in NZ, who has been with us since day one, is driving Brockenchack’s expansion across the ditch. This year we have taken on a North Island distributor, Beverage Bureau, and a South Island distributor, Palate Fine Wines so you may start to see our wines pop up in more restaurants and fine wine stores around the country. We’ve seen some substantial growth in our website and social followers this year, with more kiwi’s eager to get their hands on some beautiful, quality Barossa wines, right here in NZ. Megan and Darren took Brockenchack on the road around the South Island this year, with wine dinners in Queenstown, Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch, with the delightfully witty and effervescent Yvonne Lorkin. We’d love the opportunity to come and present to a wine club near you in 2024, so please reach out if interested.
A Family’s Heartbeat
The heart of Brockenchack is our family, each member contributing their unique rhythm. If I steer the ship, Marilyn is our Bridge Watchkeeper as she continues her recovery with great-grandson Archie keeping her on her toes, and keeping us both young (at heart, if nothing else). The next generation; Mack, Jack and Charli step into the limelight, propelling the Brockenchack brand forward with fresh ideas and lots of energy. Darren’s relentless efforts span across Australia, NZ, Asia, and the USA, seasoned with a generous dose of dad jokes. Susan continues the hard-working genes, propelling her own business forward. Bronte continues to immerse herself in the world of dance, seamlessly balancing that with her commitment to university studies and prac placements. Whilst Trudi seizes every chance to revel in precious moments with her grandson Archie, whenever she’s not at the helm of the bottling plant.
Here’s to a year that was, and to the many more bottles of Brockenchack Wines that will find their way into glasses around the globe in 2024. I hope yours included…!
Trev & the whole Brockenchack Clan