2015 Vintage Season


The 2015 vintage season has again produced some excellent fruit in good quantity. The season started cooler than normal with October and November temperatures below average and a number of frosts requiring frost fighting. The cool conditions slowed flower development. December warmed up and provided a small but perfect window for the critical flowering period. While the weather at flowering was ideal, the cool spring conditions had meant some flowers proved infertile or set weak berries which did not develop. The result was smaller and more open bunches than normal. This usually bodes well for good wine. January was one of our warmest ever and February and March behaved apart from a couple of early frosts. The end of March and early April were exceptionally warm and hand picking commenced earlier than normal finishing on 16 April. 2015 promises to be another good vintage

In detail

Winter 2014 was generally kind and pruning ahead of the 2015 season was completed on 1st September.

Budburst started on 6 October which is slightly behind last season and the first significant frost was on 20 October with -2 to -3 deg C. The first frost event on the season made the local press with comments from Mike. (Read more here).

October was a cool month with low growing degree days. November continued cool with below average temperatures and a good number of frosts.This image below shows vine growth on 4 Nov and a little behind Nov 2013.
The chart below from our weather station shows how many near zero lows we had in November. The last spring frost was on 2nd December.
December marked the change from below average temperatures to normal temperatures. Apart from a near zero degree morning on 14th December conditions were ideal for flowering which started around 16th December. The cool spring resulted in fewer grapes per bunch, and generally smaller average berry size.
January was warmer than average and vines grew rapidly which meant extra work removing lateral growth to keep the canopy open. All aimed at maximizing the even ripening of grapes. January was an important month as we needed the extra heat to keep the vintage on track.
February veraison progressed well and bird nets went on before the birds took control. Both February and March were average temperatures compared to historical records. A couple of early frosts kept us edge.
April leading into harvest was very warm and grapes finished ripening quickly. Harvest started 10 April and continued for seven days. We only picked half a day on the 13th when cold damp weather came through dropping the temperature to 3 degree C.
Photos below: bunch closure; 14 April -a beautiful day for harvest with snow low down on the hills; grapes ready for picking in Block 2, Abel clone; Last day of picking following a -4 deg frost - the leaves are stuffed now!; The 2015 international harvest crew relaxing at the end


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