Autumn 2014

Spring 2014 was one of the most settled in our memory.  On only two occasions the vineyard crew were on frost alert, in contrast to the 15 frost alerts the previous year.  The vines relished these benign conditions, advancing budburst by up to two weeks, and putting on good early season growth.  For a vineyard this is akin to banking reserves for future use, enabling the vine to go into flowering and veriason full of carbohydrate energy.  Flowering started towards the end of November, well ahead of a normal year, and the seasonal staff started the leaf plucking and canopy management earlier than usual.  Everybody was kept busy over the Christmas period, in some cases redoing earlier work due to the rapid growth.  The usual high winds through November and December were absent only to appear with a vengeance in January.  Rain has been timely and welcome.  As we move past veraison the weather has entered a settled phase and our expectation for vintage is another normal harvest albeit slightly earlier than last year.