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2014 vintage report for Barossa (including Eden Valley)

The 2014 Barossa vintage proved the ability of both winegrapes and people to thrive under challenging circumstances.
According to The Yalumba Wine Company’s head of winemaking, Louisa Rose, viticulturists have done an “amazing job” looking after the vineyards as Mother Nature threw a few curve balls their way.
“Good winter and early spring rains filled the soils and set up the vines well for the season,” she said.
From July to September rainfall was 20 per cent above average.
A windy spring meant some varieties set unevenly with poor yields, and then in November with vines’ growth and flowering underway, unseasonal frost events resulted in almost complete loss of fruit for some vineyards.
Late spring and summer were dry and warm during the days, with significant heat records being set.
September was more than 2C above the average minimum and maximum temperature and January’s maximum temperature was 2C warmer than normal.
October had only 56 per cent of average rainfall and November came in at 11 per cent.
In November the region experienced particularly cold nights (2C lower than average) leading to multiple frost events.
On 17 January northern winds flared up a fire (caused by a lightning strike three days earlier) two kilometres west of Eden Valley.
Rose said it came very close to Keyneton and Truro but was eventually controlled by 200 Country Fire Service units and a water bombing aircraft.
The fire was to the east of vineyards and wineries of the Eden and Barossa Valleys which escaped immediate damage and smoke taint.
By the last week in January, harvest on the Barossa Valley floor had started with white varieties and the first week of February saw picking of the first reds.
But on Valentine’s Day the season changed, and 100-150mm of rain fell in 24 hours.
“This and the following cool weather caused the rush of the early vintage to slow down and the rest of vintage progressed at an almost leisurely pace,” Rose said.
Harvest in Eden Valley was underway by the end of February.
In early April the late red varieties such as Mataro were still to be picked and harvest continued until after Easter.
At the time of this report, Rose said quality was looking very good, with lower than average crops.
“Reds are rich and varietal with dense colours and a line that suggests they will be very age-worthy,” Rose said.

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