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A very warm spring signalled the start of an unusual season for the Adelaide Hills wine region.
The early budburst was followed by periods of unseasonably cold weather with windy conditions and dewy mornings and occasional bursts of hot weather.
According to the Adelaide Hills Wine Region (AHWR) Technical Committee convenor Richard Hamilton, a small number of vineyards were damaged by frost during the particularly cold period.
The cool conditions at flowering badly affected fruitset in all varieties except Sauvignon Blanc, with yield significantly down across the region, he said.
Rainfall was less than half the long term average and supplementary irrigation helped maintain large canopies compared to crop loads.
These canopies protected the fruit from severe burning from heatwaves experienced in mid-January with temperatures soaring in the low 40Cs for four days straight.
To add to the extremes, the majority of vineyards received over 100mm of rain during two days in mid-February.
Hamilton said fortunately loose bunches and a low botrytis spore level saw very few instances of botrytis infection.
The southern, lower areas of the Adelaide Hills reported the fruit had excellent flavour development.
The northern regions of the Adelaide Hills commenced harvesting of its final reds during the Easter/Anzac Day week.