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2003 vintage report for Padthaway (South Australia)

The season began with a wet July followed by a cold, dry August with 10 to 12 frosts. Budburst was a little later than 2002 but quite even. September was reasonably cool, giving good, steady, early growth. Bunch numbers, particularly in red varieties, were again down.

Good weather during flowering saw even set in all varieties. No frosts of any significance were experienced during the spring. A hot summer with little rain meant there were virtually no disease problems.

Rain in late February caused splitting in some varieties, particularly Shiraz which would lead to yield reductions later. Most growers applied sprays immediately to prevent Botrytis developing.

More rain in March caused few problems as grapes were softer. Harvest was conducted in ideal weather with few hold-ups. Although yields were probably down 20% in reds, quality was very good. The whites yielded well and produced outstanding quality. Another trouble-free year with the exception of some splitting, reinforcing that Padthaway is an ideal climate for premium grape production.

The Padthaway region now has some 3,720 hectares of grapes planted with more plantings taking place.