Some years I wonder what we have done to deserve such a challenging season. Actually it seems like most years we ask this question at some point.
So as per usual there is the good and the bad.
We commenced spring with cooler and wetter conditions than average and then in mid-December things got very hot and dry. As a result we have probably the smallest yields that I have seen due to cool wet conditions at fruit set in early November. The good news is the pinot from the Upper Yarra is some of the most exciting I have seen. A combination of racy acidity, ripe tannins and depth of fruit, it has the makings of a stunning albeit small year.
Due to the yields being so small this year, we have also endeavoured to do most of the fruit picking in house. With a large team for harvest of about 8, this has given us the flexibility to pick each block or panel of vines as they ripen often only a day or two apart. This is exactly what occurred with our Woori Yallock vineyard which we picked in 5 blocks over 3 days.
We are now waiting on our Upper Yarra Chardonnay, Syrah and Cab as well as our Strathbogie Riesling which is still a few weeks away. It feels like summer has now moved into Autumn and with the cooler nights and days, things appear to have slowed down and the next few weeks appear much calmer and slightly more even in temperament.