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2006 Yarra Valley vintage report
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Vintage 2006 in Victoria’s Yarra Valley was one of the earliest on record, commencing early February, some three weeks ahead of schedule. For the first time in living memory, vintage was complete well before Easter, allowing winemakers to enjoy the recent break.
The early onset was due to a warm spring, followed by unusually high summer temperatures. Several days of above 40 degrees celsius were recorded in early summer before settling to more moderate, yet still higher than average levels in February and March.
An excellent growing season led to even flowering and fruit set across varieties including Merlot. Denser canopies gave some protection from sunburn in the hot spells.
Ripe fruit flavours meant many wineries harvested as early as possible to retain acid structure.
Crop levels were low to moderate, since most growers adjusted crops early to achieve balance and fruit quality.