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Vineyards Harvest Summary
Budburst occurred well into September following a cold wet August. Good early season growing conditions led to a good flowering and light to moderate crops. As the season progressed the weather turned hot throughout January and early February, with 13 days over 40 degrees. Our vineyard manager did an amazing job to maintain canopies and ripen all varieties with very little heat stress. White varieties maintained good acidity against the odds and good to very good wines were produced. All our reds were picked before the worst of the heat and with almost no rain the quality was excellent with great flavour and balance. They may rival the 2014 reds.
Budburst was late after a cold and very wet winter. The high soil moisture levels provided a great start to the growing season. Warm dry weather in January and February was accompanied by late veraison in all varieties. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were picked in perfect condition in the second week of March with no rain interference. Very good quality Shiraz was harvested late in March again with little rain and early assessments indicate some excellent wines. Cabernet was picked very late in April making 2017 the latest vintage for many years. Overall quality was very good.
Good winter and spring rains were accompanied by cool spring weather which led to a late budburst. The soil moisture produced good early season growth but flowering and then veraison were both late following on from the late budburst. Ripening occurred in relatively cool conditions leading to the latest harvest for many years. Pinot Gris and Chardonnay were picked in late March with good acid balance and flavour. Merlot and Tempranillo followed in early April in ideal cool dry conditions and both varieties produced very good wines. Our top Cabernet blocks were picked by April 19th with good flavour ripeness and acidity. Intermittent cool rainy weather then set in for the last 10 days of April causing problems for most South Australian areas. Our Shiraz was caught up in this weather after very slow ripening and only a small amount will make Reserve quality wine. About 85% of our grapes were picked before the rain and early indications are for wines of excellent quality and balance.
Like Wrattonbully, 2017 was the coolest latest year for many years in Coonawarra. Our Coonawarra vineyard generally ripened about a week behind Wrattonbully. Merlot was picked in good condition in early April and we made our first Coonawarra Rosé from a small parcel of this variety. Cabernet was picked in good condition in the last week of April despite the cool rainy conditions. The resulting wine is elegant but lighter than its Wrattonbully counterparts.
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