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A mild and relatively wet spring encouraged good early season growth resulting in well-balanced canopies. Regular rainfall reduced the need for irrigation with most growers not commencing irrigation until late November, early December 2005.
Disease pressure was a little increased in comparison to other years however growers with well-timed spray programs emerged relatively unscathed. Vines generally survived the extreme temperatures in January well with only minor reductions in yields.
Many growers took proactive measures to manage yields in accordance with tonnage caps imposed by wineries. Picking of fruit for sparkling base began in the first week of February, with whites for table wine commencing mid to late February and reds from late February onwards.
Figures are currently being compiled but it is expected that tonnages of Chardonnay may be slightly below average, Shiraz about average and Cabernet Sauvignon slightly below average. The star performer of the vintage appears to be Cabernet Sauvignon with some excellent Malbec and Shiraz. Amongst the whites Verdelho proved to be of exceptional quality. Small berry size, particularly in Cabernet Sauvignon, has produced good concentration of colour and flavours.
Not all fruit from the region found a market this vintage and parcels of uncontracted fruit attracted little demand and in some instances were sold at prices well below the cost of production.