An extremely wet early spring dried out nicely before we had any serious growth, leading to a disease free canopy and dry flowering, with excellent soil moisture levels powering strong canopy growth. A light frost on Melbourne Cup day hit our Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, but not as badly as it first looked, thank goodness. The vines were well set up, but required constant supplementary watering during the heat of December and January. Just when we were beginning to worry about continued heat, the weather gods shone on us and it cooled just as we hit veraison (berries softening, filling out, colouring up), when it really counts. Fruit looked good across the board.
Picking dates were generally spot on the long term average, with Shiraz one week earlier. Some bigger than planned picking days kept everyone on their toes, with our picking crews performing magnificently. Picking grapes for 12 hours stretches endurances to the limit!
The numbers in the winery looked good (sugar levels, acidity, nitrogen), but more importantly the flavours were there, along with balanced ripeness in skins, seeds, stalks. Big increases in volumes through the winery (to meet growing demand, particularly for Riesling, Shiraz and Sangiovese) also made for long but satisfying days. So far, Fiona is happy!