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Sarah's 2016 Vintage predictions

POSTED 07.02.2016

The few months prior to any harvest is an anxious time for all grape growers and winemakers and the lead up to V16 has already provided plenty of twists and anxious moments.

The long term forecast was for a warm dry summer, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise to have bud burst comes two weeks earlier than usual in some vineyards. What was a surprise was a few sneaky frosts in early December which effected fruit set impacting on yield in some areas.

A very warm January saw grapes developing quickly, indicating an early start to vintage. Just as flavours started to build and thoughts of booking harvesters were not far off, thunderstorms hit bringing 2-4 inches of rain and an dangerous increase in humidity. Whilst farmers celebrated, winemakers and grape growers held their breaths, glued themselves to weather forecasts sites and hoped for the best. Within hrs of the last drop of rain, winds picked up, drying out the canopies, bringing with it blue skies and collective sighs of relief that could be heard across the region.

In the last week grapes have basked in warm days and cool nights - perfect ripening conditions. Varietal flavours continue to build and are becoming more complex and intense every day. With our nerves and resilience well and truly tested, and no rain on the horizon, winemakers and grape growers alike are quietly becoming very excited - it looks as though 2016 is going to be another cracker year in the Adelaide Hills.

Stay tuned! Sarah xx

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