Summer rains in December caused some concerns for vineyards however our dry grown vineyard thrived with the moisture. The vine growth has been amazing compared with previous dry years. Many other vineyards struggled to remain disease free. While it caused extra work for us, we were able to maintain canopy management and keep the vineyard disease free. The vineyard is looking great, well done Nigel. It also creates an increase of pests with a small amount of Apple Moth damage which we previously haven't encountered before.
Marri blossom started early and there was little pressure from birds in the vineyard which was fantastic. We started to look like we would pick at the end of the March long weekend which is normal timing for us. All the Chardonnay, Muller Thurgau and Riesling were ready to be picked on the 10 March, so we had one long night harvesting. Poor Nigel went from 6am till 6am the next day. All the hard work prevailed with the Riesling, our star wine, needing no adjustments in tank. A prefect wine from grape to tank. The Riesling came in at 11.5 Baume.
Then we waited for two weeks until most of our reds the Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Merlot would be ready to pick. We picked the Shiraz and Merlot on the 4th April. The Shiraz coming in at just under 14 Baume and the Merlot at 13.3 Baume
Then a few more weeks for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet was picked on the 13 April at 13.8 Baume.. A beautiful strong blue colour for the Cabernet Sauvignon and I am excited with the prospect of now adding new oak to this Great Cab Sauv! I have high expectations that it will be a winner!!
This year we have had a lot of issue with kangaroos. The neighbouring blue gum plantation providing a prefect home and climate providing prefect breeding conditions. We'd have up to 40 roos at night in the vineyard. I was concerned that our profits were being eaten up!
However most of our crop estimates come in above expectation in the main varieties Riesling, and Shiraz however low for the Chardonnay and Merlot. The low tonnages for Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were no doubt due to poor flowering during November and the late summer rains.
While we had small difficulties at times I expect the 2012 to be a stellar year with extra points to Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Kim Tyrer- CEO