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Supplied by the Yarra Valley Wine Growers Association
Growing season: An excellent season with overall warmer conditions than long-term averages. Maximum mean temperatures for November through to March were above average as were minimum mean temperatures. Some key rain events, particularly through the mid-season, resulted in minimal or no requirement for irrigation. Soil moistures were higher in the early-to-mid season than in recent years and dried out as the season progressed. Across the Valley, there were perfect conditions for flowering; fruitset was excellent on most varieties, particularly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. There was low disease pressure throughout the season, however, the rain events and higher-than-normal humidity close to harvest provided conditions for downy mildew. There were a few minor outbreaks of botrytis, however, overall this was not a problem.
Vintage: Vintage began in early February with harvest for sparkling wine and was relatively quick and congested, running through until mid-March with harvest of Cabernet in the Upper Yarra.
Yields and quality: Most yield targets were achieved with only a small number of growers failing to achieve early season estimates. Overall, yields in the region were close to average. The season will stand out as one of the stronger for some years. There was excellent fruit quality across all varieties with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc being the standouts.