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2017 vintage

The unusually warm September was followed by a good October and then a period of below average temperatures through until late February. January was the coolest we have recorded in 12 vintages and some saying it was reminiscent of the cool 2005 vintage.

Flowering was good however the cooler weather during berry development means bunch sizes are below average. With the season unfolding as one of the coolest on record we have reduced the crop below normal to make sure we get fruit fully ripe for harvest.

The last two weeks of February saw a significant lift in temperatures. Despite this the total heat for February was below average. March and April will hopefully be more typical with fine clear days and normal temperatures.

Monthly detail:

27 September 2016 marked the start of season with budburst on hill block 2. At least 10 days earlier than last year which was one of our cooler winters. The mean temperature for Sep 2016 was 9.6 deg C. versus 7.2 deg for Sep 2015 so it was a noticeably warmer start to the season.

October was average in terms of both heat and frosts. Temperatures dropped to around zero on 10, 15, 30 and 31 October but did not cause problems.

November temperatures started normal but many cool days in the second half of the month meant the month was cooler than average. Winds were significantly less than last year and shoot and inflorescence growth was good and ahead of last year.

December continued on from November with cooler than average temperatures slowing vine growth. Flowering and fruit set was completed successfully in mid December. One very light frost was recorded on 13 December without obvious damage.

January was marked by cooler average temperatures. Total heat (GDD) was 30% below our average. This period had significant impact on berry development and canopy growth.

February was a continuation of January until things started to warm up from about 18 February.

During this period of cooler than average temperatures the sea surface temperature charts recorded temperature 2 degrees below average. Sea temperatures seem to be returning closer to normal in March which is what we like to see at this critical grape ripening stage.

Block 2 - looking up the hill - 5 October

Block 2 - looking up the hill - 5 October
20 October

20 October
Shoot growth 14 November

Shoot growth 14 November