Vintage 2012 – like no other

The final outcome of vintage 2012 is looking very good at this point.

It was a great relief to have all our grapes safely in the winery on 26th April. With the unusually damp and cool weather we had mid-season we were pretty nervous about how the rest of the season would unfold. May be we should have had more confidence in the vineyard and Alexandra’s dry climate.

Thanks to Mother Nature’s remarkable ability to achieve balance, all ended well with one of the most amazing periods of long, slow (and dry) ripening we have ever experienced.

A quick summary of 2012
  • Mean temperatures October-April : Overall cool
  • Growing Degree Days (daily mean temp above 10˚C): Under 900 GDD – Cool
  • December – one of hottest in recent times
  • March – one of the coolest and wettest in recent times
  • April – one of the best ever
  • Flowering and fruit set – excellent. Average bunch weight: 135g –heavy
  • Harvest dates: 18 to 26 April – neither late nor early picking. No picking on ANZAC day 25th. All picked before May frosts – six frosts in a row in the first week of May.
  • Fruit quality: Excellent. Modest sugar levels and good flavours
  • Quantity – marginally up on 2008, 2009 and 2011 which were all great fruit set years
2012 highlights:
  • Great quality AND quantity
  • Remarkable final six weeks of hot days (20˚-25˚) and cold nights (0˚-5˚)
  • An unforgettable cold March was a challenge to ripening.
An especially big thanks to our vineyard manager Mike and crew who kept right on top of vineyard management. Without them, this year’s story would be very different.

Photo gallery

This photo on harvest day shows Abel clone PN. Always big bunches – this year 180g. With the cold March we removed more leaves than normal in the fruit zone. Great colours at this time of year.

Picking is a family affair, even if it is foggy and a cool zero degrees at 9:oo am.

This graph shows many days of massive diurnal temperature ranges. Often over 20˚C between night and day and dropping close to freezing at night. Thes conditions make special Pinot Noir.

The treasure chest – we picked about a few thousand of these crates.

Morning smoko on one of the frosty mornings. We had great crew this year. A mix of local talent of all ages, international travellers and our motor home crew.

“Bins away!” he shouted in the quite autumn air. See you in 2013.


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