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2006 vintage report for Adelaide Hills (South Australia)

The Adelaide Hills wine region enjoyed exceptional early growing season rainfall, which continued during the growing season with many observers commenting on some of the largest and healthiest canopies seen for many years.
A cruel black-frost in mid October touched parts of many vineyards that have not been frosted before. The extent of this setback on the tiny flowers and crop was masked by how well the vines recovered and only really showed up on the weighbridge at vintage when yields for some frosted blocks were much lower than forecast.
Rain in early November and around Christmas followed by steady ongoing rain proved to be quite challenging for disease prevention and control systems. Vintage started in late February and peaked at about the end of March and in early May there were only a few reds left to pick.
Yields this vintage have been generally below average for all varieties, certainly relative to the last two large vintages.
While Sauvignon Blanc continues to champion the whites there are some excellent parcels of Chardonnay and rapidly rising interest in Pinot Gris and Riesling.
Red varieties grew and set well too and wine will also be very good this year showing great colour and flavour. The wines show excellent complexity including pepper and spice characters in the Shiraz, which shone through late in vintage when the fruit was very ripe. Some small parcels of fruit were left unharvested or picked straight onto the ground this vintage, as prices for winegrapes remain depressed.