Yuk! Frost!

A couple of weeks ago a mild frost warning turned into a nasty frost.  Beechworth fared much better than many regions in the North East: we're mostly on hills and the frosty air drained away wherever it could.  However, anyone that had a flat pocket suffered severe frost damage in that spot.

As you can see from this photo (left) of my neighbour's vineyard, the lower third was frost burnt and may produce very little crop.  The frost line can pretty clearly be seen from a distance: the non-frosted vines which were close to flowering are green in the back portion, and two weeks after the frost, all the green leaves of the vines at the lower right section have died off.

Unfortunately, this second photo (right) shows that this vineyard has suffered a loss of production across maybe 30% of the vineyard this year.

Frosted shoots do re-shoot, but the crop level is severely reduced and other complications come about.  For instance, when it comes to picking time,  the lower half of all these frosted rows will have a different level of ripeness than the top half which weren't frosted.  That won't make the winemaker happy.  Plus the vines grow in a messy manner with shoots coming from everywhere, and pruning next year is slow and tricky.

If you would like to know why we didn't get frosted, a quick look at this 5 second video fly-over of our vineyard will show you why we have sufficient air drainage to minimise the effect of even the most severe frost.

A full 15 minute video tour of the Beechworth vineyards is available via this link.


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