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Padthaway’s excellent season started with a good budburst. Good rains throughout the spring gave vines a great start and saved a lot of irrigation. Only two minor frosts were experienced in spring and these caused no damage to vines. A shorter than usual flowering period with warm and calm weather gave excellent fruitset in most varieties. The hot and dry summer filled bunches well and there was virtually no disease problem. The bird problems experienced last year were not evident and little damage occurred. Harvest started a little earlier than normal and finished later due to cool weather from mid March onwards. Baumes in later harvested varieties, particularly Cabernet, were slow to come up, but no major problems were encountered. Most vineyards experienced above-average yields û around 15% higher than normal. This puts district yields probably 25-30% higher than last year’s reduced yields. Ian Ward, president of the Padthaway Grape Growers Association, said fruit quality has been excellent resulting from an ideal growing season and winemakers are expecting to make some very good wines from this year’s vintage.