Sunday, February 25, 2007

This week: 23rd. Feb.

Weather Report Week Ending 23/2/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 39.6C (103F) on Sat.
Minimum Temperature for the week 9.6C (49F) on Thurs.
Rainfall for the Week 0.0mm (0 points) 0 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

Another very hot period for us this week - in fact we have just had 12 consecutive days of above 32C conditions. Our grapepicking season is running at least 3 weeks ahead of where we would normally expect it to be. Still no rain - just what we want, for now.

This week in the vineyard:
Our grapepicking continues - we have now started on our red varieties. This week we have been picking Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet. We are still experiencing our worst crop in living memory, most vineyards are reporting at least a 50% reduction in yield. However there is always a silver lining, some of our winemakers are expecting some exceptional wines to be produced from this vintage. This will also help to reduce Australia's stocks of wine, which should help the industry to recover from the current slump sooner rather than later. The picture this week shows us machine harvesting some Shiraz for Peter Lehmann wines.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

This week: 16th. Feb.

Weather Report Week Ending 16/2/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 37.0C (98F) on Fri.
Minimum Temperature for the week 8.3C (47F) on Sat.
Rainfall for the Week 0.0mm (0 points) 0 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

Yet another beautiful week for picking grapes this week here in the Barossa. Quite a warm week, but with our first night below 9C since mid Dec. Still remaining dry - as we need it now until we finish grape picking. Then, well, bring on a wet Autumn and Winter, we really need it after the last 9 months or so.

This week in the vineyard:
We have now finished harvesting our white varieties, with the last of our Semillon, Chardonnay and Riesling all coming off this week. We have also picked the first of our Shiraz. This week has been very busy with harvesters working 4 nights and a hand picking gang during 2 days. We smaller grapegrowers don't get a lot of sleep during harvest, I should be able to catch up on some sleep in 2-3 weeks, when we finish picking. I have most of our Shiraz booked to be harvested in the coming week, so looks like I will have another busy week coming up.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

This week: 9th. Feb.

Weather Report Week Ending 9/2/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 40.1C (104F) on Sun.
Minimum Temperature for the week 10.5C (51F) on Wed.
Rainfall for the Week 0.0mm (0 points) 0 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

Another glorious week for ripening grapes here in the Barossa. Warm dry days with quite cool nights - just what the vines need for maximum flavour development. Unfortunately the rain of last month has caused some problems for the vines, some baumes are rising far too quickly. Some blocks are ready to pick now, but the flavours have not developed properly yet. It means a lot of wine makers will be agonizing over picking grapes now and possibly having under ripe characters in their wines, or waiting for the flavours to develop and produce higher alcohol wines. In our own vineyard we have seen baumes jump 2 points in under a week - but we still have very green seeds and lack of full flavor.

This week in the vineyard:
Grape picking continues at a frantic pace. This week we have been picking Chardonnay and Riesling, for Yalumba, Barossa Valley Estate and Peter Lehmann. I now have all of our white varieties booked to be be picked in the next week - so hopefully next week I can report on the end of our white harvest. The first red deliveries (Shiraz) will also occur in this coming week. The picture shows a bunch of Semillon that will be picked this week.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wine Industry Management Plan Accepted by Barossa Grapegrowers & Winemakers

In a giant step for the Barossa wine industry, members of the grapegrowing and winemaking fraternities, have overwhelmingly voted to accept the new Management plan that has been put together over the last 12 months by a dedicated group of grapegrowers and winemakers. With unprecedented co-operation between the two groups we have managed to get a very satisfactory result for the whole wine industry here in the Barossa. The public meeting, held on the 30Th of January, and attended by nearly 300 people, was the culmination of an extensive consultation process that involved approx. 500 people directly involved in the wine industry. The vote will see grapegrowers and winemakers contribute approx. $400,000 each, into a fund that will be used to enhance the profile of the Barossa Valley as one of the best wine producing areas of the world. The next step from here will see the development of an operational plan for the new organization, which will work out how these funds can be best spent to acheive this objective. While some of the the large corporate business' in the Barossa have expressed concerns over the lack of detail in the plan, we will be working closely with them to develop the detail needed in the operational plan to get them to fully commit to the future of the Barossa. While there is still a lot of work to be done, I believe we have now taken a very important first step in securing the future of the Barossa for generations to come.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Barossa Vintage Festival April 7th to 15th


The 2007 Barossa Vintage Festival will showcase the best of the Barossa during April 2007, as it celebrates 60 years of Barossa food, wine, music and hospitality.
Commencing on Easter Saturday (April 7th) and concluding on Sunday the 15th of April, the Vintage Festival highlights the tastes, smells, sights and sounds of the Barossa Valley and its people.
“The Barossa is well known for its premium wine,” says 2007 Vintage Festival Chairman, Adrian Hoffmann. “But when you look beyond the wine and start talking to the people, you get a glimpse of the rich tapestry of culture and lifestyle that is the Barossa.
“The Vintage Festival perfectly captures and celebrates this unique blend.”
The Vintage Festival started life in 1947 as a Thanksgiving Ball to celebrate vintage and a return to better times after World War II. From that single event, the Festival has blossomed into a nine-day celebration, hosting over 100 events that showcase the Barossa’s blend of food, wine, music, arts and community.
The nine-day celebration is an extravaganza of events - from breakfasts to dinners, live theatre to wine tastings, produce markets to wine auctions, vineyard tours to art exhibitions and church services to street parades.
Visitors are not only treated to a wide array of events, but to the unique lifestyle that the Barossa has to offer. At a time when wineries are busy picking, crushing and fermenting their harvests, the community comes out in force, offering the best in Barossa hospitality – plenty of fresh, regional produce on the table, a glass or two of a decent, local drop and great friends to share it all with.
Wineries are joined by businesses, civic groups, churches and individuals to stage the various activities that make up the Festival, with some 1,500 volunteers on hand to host the myriad of people who flock to the Barossa to taste the best it has to offer.
“Community participation is a key to the success of the Festival,” says Adrian. “Many events are put on by fifth or sixth generation Barossans. It is these people that you find manning the stalls, running events and of course enjoying the Festival too.
“It is this unique blend of the good things in life – food, wine, music and friends that has seen the Barossa Vintage Festival grow into the state’s leading wine tourism event.
“We invite all to experience what the Barossa has to offer – to see our heritage, drink our wines, taste our foods and share our spirit and enjoyment as we celebrate.”
For further information visit
Festival Programs are available by phoning the Barossa Visitor Information Centre on 1300 852 982.
Tickets can be purchased through Venue*Tix online at or via phone on (08) 8561 4299.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

This week: 2nd. Feb.

Weather Report Week Ending 2/2/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 36.0C (97F) on Fri.
Minimum Temperature for the week 10.3C (50F) on Sun.
Rainfall for the Week 0.0mm (0 points) 0 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

A typical Summer week here in the Barossa - warm dry days with cool nights. Just right for getting grapes to ripen. A few more weeks like this will see a lot of our grapes coming off quite quickly.

This week in the vineyard:
Grape picking is beginning to gather pace this week. We have now picked all of our Sauv. Blanc., White Fronti. and Pinot Noir - all relatively minor varieties for us. In the next week I have most of our Chardonnay and some of our Riesling booked to be picked. Once those are off we will have picked a large percentage of our whites. As I said last week crops have been extremely disappointing with some growers reporting only 30% - 50% of expected tonnages. Vintage is only just starting for most people, so we will find out if this is a general trend throughout the Barossa in the next week or so. I haven't heard any reports from winemakers on quality so far this season, I'll let you know as soon as I do. My feeling is that quality will be very patchy this season with some very good parcels of fruit and other quite disappointing blocks. Todays photo is of some of our Chardonnay that is ready to pick.

Dates of upcoming events in the Barossa

18th Declaration of the Vintage 11:30am Tanunda.
24th & 25 Angaston Show, Angaston.

MARCH 2007
10th Tanunda Show, Tanunda. See my Tourism links.

APRIL 2007
7th to 15th Barossa Valley Vintage Festival. 100 events all over the Valley - see my tourism links.
15th Barossa Airshow, Rowland flat aerodrome. See my Tourism links.

11th & 12th Toyota Rally SA, Mt Crawford forest. See my Tourism links.
Sat 26th & Sun 27th Barossa Gourmet weekend.

Barossa under the stars.