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Wrattonbully experienced a season that had a dry start with a few small frosts causing minimum damage, leading into a warm to hot summer period until the end of February, finishing with a cool March and temperate April.
Heat degree days were very close to the long term average (1,507) at 1,484. This was a pleasant change after the dramatic highs and lows of previous years. Rainfall from December was significant in that 30 to 40 mm fell towards the end of every month until April, giving some viticultural problems in February with some splitting and Botrytis. Shiraz crops suffered the worst during this period by up to 30% crop loss due to split and resultant shrivel. Crop levels for the dominant varieties ranged between the following: Cabernet 4-9 t/ha; Shiraz 6-12 t/ha; Merlot 5-8 t/ha; and Chardonnay 8-10 t/ha. Across the district, the major players reported an average of 20 to 25% down on estimate, this number representing some 80% of growers.
The likely tonnage out of Wrattonbully this year, at an average of 8 t/ha, equals 21,000 tonnes.
Overall quality was reported as excellent with most winery specifications met or slightly exceeded.