Friday, January 30, 2009

Heat wave in Southern Australia

A period of extended extreme heat has hit the southeastern corner of Australia. Nuriootpa here in the Barossa Valley is now into it's 4th consecutive day of more than 40C (104F) temperatures. The maximum on Wed. 28th reached 44.1C (111F). We have another 5 days out of the next 7 forecast to be at or above 40C.
We are already seeing signs of scorching of our grapes, with Riesling being the worst affected variety. We are irrigating continuously at present (each block will be getting a drink about every 4th-5th day), as this is the only thing we can do to help our vines cope with the heat. Sugar levels are climbing and we will be starting harvest this coming Mon. night. We will be harvesting all of our Sauvignon Blanc this coming week and I would expect that some Chardonnay will also be picked next week.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Weather for the month of December 2008

Weather Report Month Ending 31/12/08
Maximum Temperature for the month 32.7C (91F) on Fri. 26th. Average for this month was 24.3C. 6 readings above our long term monthly average of 27.1C.
Minimum Temperature for the month 6.1C (43F) on Tue. 2nd. Average for this month was 12.0C. 16 readings above our long term monthly average of 12.3C.
Rainfall for the month 69.6mm (198.6 points) 9 days of rainfall recorded. Our long term average is 27.7mm spread over 6.4 days.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.
A very cool month for us with very good rainfall. We went very close to having our wettest December in more than 10 years, only 2004 was wetter with 72.8mm.
This month in the vineyard:
The very cool conditions have meant a very steady start to the season with most phenological stages happening about 1 week behind last year. This puts the vines in a more normal time frame than we have seen for the last few years.
We have now put the last of our Fungicide sprays on and are having to concentrate on the weeds that the brilliant rain we had, has now encouraged to start growing. Crop levels appear to be close to average with some exceptions, Chardonnay appears to have a very good crop, while Shiraz could be down a little on average. The oversupply of grapes in the wine industry will mean that we will not be able to sell all of our grapes and those that we can sell, we will make a loss on, because of the low prices we will be offered by our wineries.
I hope everyone had a pleasant and safe Christmas and New Year.