Vintage 2013 conditions
|Backpackers in the Hills of Beechworth|
The season started cool, with plenty of winter rain to soak up the soil. Early Spring seemed gentle and budburst was slightly later: the vines wanted a bit more warmth to get going. But eventually October and November warmed up: the late start was a thing of distant memory as vine growth caught up that time and more. Up until Christmas, the season was perfect for vine growth: warm, low humidity weather; the soils were topped up with 3 good downpours a month or 6 weeks apart. All set for a good vintage, but January and February have so much impact on the season I hold off on the predictions.
Then it got hot. Effectively, from Christmas until mid March it was very, very hot and very dry. The boxing day/new year week saw the most dramatic weather: hot dry winds, low humidity and the hottest weather of the season. The vines stressed and very slowly recovered.
This photo (left) is Durif. According to Richard Smart, it is a variety that we should be planting in greater quantity because it handles our droughty and hot conditions better. As you can see, the bunches on our durif dessicated after 2 days of hot windy weather. When I asked some friends at Rutherglen their response was emphatic: "That's Bulls..t. Durif's the first one to go [when the weather becomes difficult]."
|An Ageing Frog who loves wine|
|Tiny little shiraz grapes: full of flavour, tannin and concentration.|