Overall, the season to date has seen average accumulated heat but some significantly cooler than average periods in December and January around flowering have potentially reduced grape crop size.
The extreme events of note, were cold and snow showers on 29 September requiring major frost fighting, a frost on 28 December requiring frost fighting sprinklers to be turned on and 135 mm of rain at New Year compared average monthly rainfall of around 30 mm.
September 2020. The new season buds are swelling in late September, pre-budburst, and need to be protected from freezing in the spring frosts. September 2020 saw a severe frost on 29 September following a cold front and snow on the hills. Extended frost fighting was required over many hours. The average temperature for the day was 2.0 degrees C. One of the coldest late September days we have experienced.
October 2020. October was largely uneventful with good conditions for bud growth and flower development. Temperatures were average.
November 2020. Another month of average weather conditions.
December 2020. December weather conditions were cooler than average. The weather as very mixed with some good flowering periods in mid-December but the month ended with extremes. A frost on 28 Dec followed by an extensive rain event. Rain over New Year was measured at 135 mm. About 40% of the average annual rainfall in just five days.
January 2020. The coolest January we have seen since the very cool 2017 vintage. Crop assessments showed up the negative impact the cold weather had on fruit set. Less berries and smaller bunches are indicating a crop about 20% below average.
February 2020. Warmer and more settled weather. Total accumulated heat for the season to date (Oct-Feb) was back to average of around 770 growing degree days.