In our diverse region, Budburst occurred between late September in the warmer areas and mid-October in the more elevated parts, which was about normal. Winter rains had provided good soil moisture for Budburst. Fruit set was generally good.
Humid weather preceded late January heavy rains and led to a high risk of DM, but set up the rest of the season with good soil moisture lasting right through to harvest. Most vineyards did not have to irrigate. January canopy growth was exceptional in some parts and canopy management was important.
The dry, warm February and March months led to low disease pressure and even ripening. Cool, fairly dry nights resulted in generally excellent fruit flavours and good acidity. This vintage looks to be a good one. Baumés achieved were generally higher than previous years and fruit quality was excellent with yields good to average.
Harvest times in the region were 2-3 weeks earlier than last vintage, with fine weather and dry conditions. Most sparkling base was harvested by mid-March. Table wines like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and aromatics were picked mostly by mid to late March. Some of the high altitude vineyards were a little later. The harvest extended into late April early May for other reds and late-pick Riesling.
Good communication between Forest Fire Management Vic. (DELWP), Wine Victoria and the Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association led to no reports of smoke taint from Planned Burns.