Monday, February 13, 2017

Vintage 2017 Update 4

Weather has been searingly hot in the state since our last report.
On Saturday and Sunday just gone, New South Wales was reported to be the hottest region in the world.
Temperatures in some places reached 48°C (118°F)
These conditions, with accompanying dry gusty winds, produced the inevitable bush fires.
Tens of thousands of ha.were burnt out by 80+ fires which raged across the dry countryside. Whole villages, farm houses and stock have been lost. No loss of life has yet been notified. Sadly some of these fires were deliberately lit.

We have escaped the more extreme temperatures apart from one day in the 40s but it's been consistently in the low 30s and has been very dry.
This combination has caused leaf burn and drop. We were getting concerned that reduced canopy cover would lead to fruit burn and reduced ripening.
But unexpectedly 70mm rain fell a few days ago and while most of the state was on fire yesterday it rained again here.
This seems to have revived the vines.

Be' sugar tests today:
Pinot Noir 10.0° (no change from 2 weeks ago).
Semillon 11.0° (up 2.0 from 2 weeks ago)
Tempranillo 12.0° (up 1.5  from 2 weeks ago).
Why didn't the Pinot move? The vines are the healthiest looking of the four varieties planted and have a good canopy. Maybe the vines absorbed more soil moisture from the rain than those with a lighter leaf cover, diluting the grape juice to some extent. Or there was a testing error.
So it will probably be another week before the Semillon is harvested and at least 2 weeks before the two reds hit the crusher.

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