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Supplied by the Great Southern Wine Producers Association
Growing season: The region experienced a very wet winter followed by a dry spring and summer growing period. This resulted in excellent vine growth and good fruitset overall. The dry growing season helped curb disease incidences. The wet winter saw plenty of irrigation water available which was needed as there was little summer rain and subsoil moisture was depleted by early January in most areas.
Vintage: Vintage began about one week early across the region due to the dry, warm conditions. Because all varieties were being finished with the aid of supplementary water, they tended to ripen really close together far closer than in most recent vintages until a rain event of 30-40mm occurred across most of the region followed by a rapid change in the weather from warm and dry to cool and cloudy. After the rain event, the reds and the few remaining whites were quite slow in ripening so, in summary, the vintage lasted longer than normal but with a period of inactivity in the middle.
Yields and quality: Yields were slightly above average for all varieties across the region, by all reports. Riesling will have excellent aroma and flavours because of the gentle ripening temperatures and modest disease pressure. This will be a standout year for this variety. Shiraz and Cabernet will exhibit the cool climate characteristics of spice and pepper with the long, slow ripening experienced prior to picking. The varieties of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc all had good ripening conditions and little disease pressure, therefore, should be of excellent quality.