2013 Vintage Report

Dry.  That’s the 3 letter summary of vintage 2013. The pre-growing season winter was very dry with rainfall 26% below average.  This was followed by an even drier Spring with a whopping 55% less rain falling than normal. Summer was also dry with only 52% of the normal precipitation.

This dry Winter and growing season was combined with warmer than average temperatures, with Spring a massive 2.6 degrees warmer than average and Summer was 1.7 degrees warmer.

Together the dry and the heat resulted in vintage being 3 weeks earlier than normal. Veraison (colouring and softening of berries) started in the first few days of January which is much earlier than the typical Australia Day start to veraison.  Vintage began on February 18th with the first of the Shiraz and concluded in early April with late ripeners, Petit Verdot and Zinfandel.

'Quantity Down, Quality Excellent'

Because of the dry, yields were naturally down, averaging 40% less grapes across all varieties. To put the drought conditions into context, typically during the growing season (Sep-Feb) we receive 201mm of rainfall. For Sep-2012 to Feb-2013 only 93mm fell, that is 108mm (54%) less than normal. Over our 120 acres of vines this meant the vines received 52ML less water than usual, that is 52 million less litres of rain water (equivalent to 20 Olympic sized swimming pools), so no wonder the yield was down by 40%.

Importantly though, quality was amazing. Colour is extremely intense with all reds displaying dark purple and blacks. The resultant wines are rich, mouth-filling and very lengthy. Tannins are rather prominent this year, balancing out the sweet dark fruits with muscular structure and providing a framework for longevity.

So, overall vintage 2013 was the driest on record for us and whilst quantity was significantly down, quality is excellent.

Photo: Darren, Tony, Alex & Troy taking a well earned break.

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