Rain has come in downpours generated by some pretty severe thunderstorms. It hasn't been unusual to get 25mm in an hour.
We have also had some very strong winds but no vine damage, just some net tearing.
Having said all that we haven't been under too much disease pressure within the vineyards.
We have been able to spray at suitable intervals and have only used a downy mildew curative once, as a 'just in case'.
There has been no insect pests as usual. Kangaroos remain a problem.
Yields on the Semillon, Tempranillo and non kangaroo eaten Cabernet Sauvignon are excellent while the Pinot Noir is very poor ie. lots of leaves, no fruit.
That could just be caused by the location of the block which is somewhat partially shaded during the day and maybe fruit initiation the previous season was poor because of that.
We will have to wait until next year to see if a similar situation occurs.
I deliberately planted the block in a cooler part of the property to try to get the best out of this cool climate variety. The rows are also orientated east/west instead of the preferred north/south.
Both decisions could have been a mistake.
They are already harvesting Semillon in the Hunter Valley, 350km to the north of us, which has a very similar warm maritime climate. But tests on our fruit have shown low Baume readings so far.
I guess the warmer weather around the Hunter this year has caused this early ripening.
I will wait until I hear that our local premium Semillon producer, Coolangatta Estate, has started their harvest before I do more intensive sugar level testing.
The Tempranillo bud burst was a bit uneven this year so bunches are maturing at varying times. Luckily there is plenty of foliage on the vines so the 'younger' fruit should reach suitable maturity before we run into shrivel problems with the 'older' bunches.
Of course we always run the danger at this time of year of increased rain activity.
This could cause increased disease pressure, fruit splitting and juice dilution.
But we have to live with that in the Shoalhaven.