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2006 vintage report for Sunbury (Victoria)

Vintage for 2006 was like most regions with harvest beginning two to three weeks earlier than the previous year and four weeks earlier than in 2004. Most growers reported crop levels 30% less than in 2005, largely due to very little spring rain with one or two vineyards reporting larger reductions. Although there was good canopy growth there was insufficient ground moisture to support good fruitset. This was followed by some excessive heat around the New Year and a dry autumn period. Growers are looking to good soaking rains this autumn to fill the ground in preparation for next season. The 2006 growing season was seen as a return to the drought conditions of the early 2000s.
The reduced fruit quantity did see an increase in the intensity of the flavours with a trend towards low acids levels as growers left their fruit on the vines to gain flavours although targeted Baumes had been reached.
Winemakers were generally satisfied with the quality of the fruit.
Again this season a couple of growers have been unable to sell their fruit due to the lack of market demand.