The only sense of extreme experienced at this point the 2014/15 growing season is that it has been extremely mild. Which in some ways makes it seem odd that harvest across Victoria is running very early however the whole season has tracked that way and, in fact, the lack of extreme heat has seen the vines progress in a very evenhanded way.
The flowering in late November and early December occurred during generally lovely stable weather and the lack of heat spikes during the summer has seen the inter-row and paddocks in general maintain a green tinge. Whilst there have been several grass greening rain events along the way overall it has been very dry and a post harvest, strong autumn break would be much appreciated.
We expect to commence the harvest on about March 26th and have it completed over the following week or so. This will see us running about a week earlier than is now usual and compares to picking from April 6 to 10 last year. The fruit is in exceptional health and is not far off a perfect crop of around two tonnes per acre (five tonnes per hectare). The flavours have developed very slowly and the mild autumn has seen the acids holding strongly as the sugars build. The temptation is always to pick but the reward will be there for our patience and restraint.
Tasting juice samples from all parts of the vineyard sees the personality of each site already evident. The racy, citrus fruit purity of the Kostas Rind Chardonnay area is there to see. The volume and length of the Quartz juice is showing. The fragrance and red fruits of the Original Vineyard and the structure and drive of Block 5 are emerging. The drive and grip of Block K is emerging as well.
The season is concluding, the pickers are booked and the personality of the wines of 2015 are being glimpsed.