Autumn 2008

The very cold start to September ’07 was followed by a heavy frost as the first Chardonnay buds began to emerge. Minor damage was sustained and it was expected that there might be further consequences from this at flowering. More frosts followed but the frost fans and frost pots were largely effective in limiting further damage. Improved weather followed and the lead up to the critical period for bloom (late November/early December) was quite benign, promising a good fruit set and the likelihood of ‘average’ or better tonnages for harvest. Summer has been exceptionally hot and dry and so far the vines have coped well although stored soil moistures must now be very low largely because the rainfall received since last year’s record-breaking drought has been so much less than normal. Unless some moisture relief arrives, this could impact on berry weights and therefore on final tonnages. Our present expectations are for an early vintage and a welcome break in the run of small vintages, with good commercial quantities for all varieties including Gewurztraminer, but with the possible exception of Viognier.