Monday, March 24, 2008

This week: 21st. March 2008

Weather Report Week Ending 21/3/08
Maximum Temperature for the week 39.2C (102F) on Sun. 5 readings above our monthly average of 25.5C.
Minimum Temperature for the week 3.4C (38F) on Fri. 5 readings above our monthly average of 11.2C.
Rainfall for the Week 0mm (0 points) 0 days of rainfall recorded.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

The heat wave is now over. We set a number of new records during the last fortnight, including 15 consecutive days of extreme heat (previous record for an Australian capital city was held by Perth at 10 days). We also had the warmest overnight minimum temp for March (24C for the Barossa Valley). We are now looking forward to much cooler conditions. All we need now is for it to rain, still no rain recorded.

This week in the vineyard:
All our grapes have now been picked. We picked the last block of Grenache this week, it was showing some signs of the heat, however did come up quite nicely. Overall the vintage has been quite satisfying for us, we have picked just below average tonnages of grapes, but this is more than double what we picked last year. The cool ripening conditions during January should mean very good wine from the earlier varieties. The heat that started on the 3rd of Feb. had a severe impact on any fruit that was still on the vine. Most of our grapes (about 90%) were picked prior to the heat. Any grapes that were delivered after the heat, returned very high Baume’s (we had one load of Merlot that went 17.9). I have heard reports of fruit being delivered as high as 23. Most Barossa Valley grapes were picked before the hot spell, and so on balance I am looking forward to some superb wines being produced from this vintage. The photo this week shows some of our vines with the Barossa ranges in the background hanging out for some rain (we have only recorded 3.6mm so far this year, we normally average 71mm to the end of March).

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