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The early part of the growing season started well with ideal warm weather and dry conditions. Unpredicted rain in late October and early November, however, disrupted flowering and subsequent fruitset on some red varieties.
Further rain late in February caused some berry splitting, mainly with white varieties, while reds remained largely unaffected. The rain dictated the beginning of harvest this year and most whites began to be picked in early March. The mild and dry conditions that followed allowed the reds to develop well and many varieties were harvested in early April.
The later maturing red blocks then paused in their maturation process for three weeks during early and mid-April, and several weeks of warm, sunny days allowed an ideal finish to these late crops. While yields were below the long-term average, typical lifted varietal fruit characteristics are now evident as well as considerable finesse in barrel.
This year’s harvest proved challenging at times with regular timetables irrelevant and progress at the mercy of the unpredictable weather. Overall, yields were reasonable and quality was maintained at a high standard across the board.