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Vintage started on 25 February in perfect warm, dry conditions. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier for sparkling wine came off in excellent condition, however some quick decisions on picking dates were required as fruit ripened rapidly.
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for table wine followed very quickly, with good flavours in all varieties. Some rain in early March alleviated water stress on dry grown vines, but did not lead to any significant Botrytis. Partial shrivel in the Pinot Noir produced some parcels of extremely ripe fruit.
Some throughput problems stressed winemakers in late March as Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet varieties ripened earlier than wineries would have preferred, however the Cabernet subsequently slowed, preventing a traffic jam at the crusher. Red wine quality was very good to excellent, even exceeding that of the whites.
In all, it was a great vintage with the wines that are currently maturing in barrel looking exceptional and crops up 20% on last year, but still down on average by 15 to 20% due to the dry.