What a challenging summer we have had this year! Fortunately, no bush fires (a miracle), but unrelenting heat each day, with only some respite provided by cooler evenings. But virtually no rain at all between October and late March. While many of our neighbours’ dams dried up completely we were lucky to have 7 good dams to provide some irrigation water for the vineyard. The dry conditions brought birdlife in unprecedented numbers from further west, meaning we had to net our vines early and be vigilant checking them each day.
But every cloud has a silver lining. While our quantity of wine grapes was much lower this year due to the drought conditions, fruit quality was very high, and we are looking forward to making some excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from our 2018 harvest.
With a team of 12, we hand picked the grapes in one day from early morning on 18 February and the grapes were crushed later the same day. We will need to wait 18 months for the end result, but the 2018 vintage looks very promising.