Vintage Report 2010

Published on July 4, 2010

An above warm and wet August saw a very promising growing season start on the dot 1st of September. Both September and October brought us some lovely rain, and flowering and fruit set had perfect conditions.

vine inflorescence
vine inflorescence - a future bunch of grapes

Shoot thinning, trimming and tying had to be done quickly and efficiently to keep up with the vigorous growth of the vines, and overall early spring was very kind.

But summer also came early. With a very hot and dry November the vines soon began to suffer badly.

thinned grapes
thinning grapes to lift quality

In spite of irrigation the leaves wilted and started to drop. We increased frequency and amount of water, but the drooping canopy gave little cover to the developing grapes and we worried about sun burn.
Temperatures stayed hot, but not extremely so and we got away.

Cropping levels were slightly on the high side and we quickly hand-thinned about 5% of the bunches to ensure high quality grapes.
Shortly before Christmas our tractor broke down and had to have major repair work done. Spare parts had to come from Europe, and while we could easily handle the bird nets with our little old tractor we depend on the stronger one for vintage. Fortunately local traders put in special efforts in times of emergency and it came back in time.


wedge-tailed eagle
Riding the storm: Wedge-tailed eagle

All summer rabbits multiplied and seemed to be everywhere.

 Fortunately our eagles kept watch, and after we had donated a dead rabbit to the cause they started to patrol the vineyard more closely. All summer we enjoyed the sight of these magnificent birds.

Eventually, in February we received some good rainfall and suddenly the vineyard was awash with mushrooms and acroak with frogs, which emerged from the wet soil under the irrigation drippers where they love to spend the dry times.

After the rain
Do YOU know fungi?

Vintage began rather early, on 2nd of March, as usual with Pinot noir. To get exactly the grape quality we wanted we picked the sunnier side 4 days earlier than the shadier side. Pinot was all picked by mid-March.

shoot with cockatoo damage
25 mm in less than 15 minutes

On 21st of March we had a spectacular, quite localised thunder storm which dropped 25 mm of rain in less than 15 minutes. Everything was flooded, but the water disappeared as quickly as it had risen and damage was minimal.

shoot with cockatoo damage
grape picking 2010
During autumn we had average rainfall, but above average temperatures. With fewer leaves than usual the grapes ripened rather slowly and there was a break of 2 weeks before Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz were picked. Vintage ended mid-April with Cabernet Sauvignon of lovely quality.

Flavour and tannin ripeness was very good and sugar levels to our delight slightly lower than in the past years. Overall 2010 was a very good year with few problems.