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.