Vintage Reports

Discover how Henschke vintages have unfolded over the past few decades across the Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills, including standout varieties from each season. From challenging years to fairy-tale vintages that exceeded expectations – each season tells a unique story.   

  • 2024
  • 2023
  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
EDEN VALLEY

The lead up to the 2024 season in the Eden Valley was characterised by significant rainfall in June followed by a dry spring. Variable set and frost impacted yield potential, however rain at the beginning of December assisted canopy and berry development and good soil moisture levels supported vine growth well into January. The mild summer weather eventually warmed up and dried out, with some short bursts of heat, leading into a warm, dry autumn, which delivered optimal maturity and ripeness in the fruit. The resulting white wines show pure and intense primary fruit with stunning acidity and freshness. Our focus on canopy health in the vineyard was vital in producing vibrant fruit in the 2024 growing season and this attention to detail resulted in impressive colour and intensity of fruit character in our red varieties, with excellent tannin maturity and evocative aromas.

BAROSSA VALLEY
ADELAIDE HILLS

The lead up to the 2024 season in the Eden Valley was characterised by significant rainfall in June followed by a dry spring. Variable set and frost impacted yield potential, however rain at the beginning of December assisted canopy and berry development and good soil moisture levels supported vine growth well into January. The mild summer weather eventually warmed up and dried out, with some short bursts of heat, leading into a warm, dry autumn, which delivered optimal maturity and ripeness in the fruit. The resulting white wines show pure and intense primary fruit with stunning acidity and freshness. Our focus on canopy health in the vineyard was vital in producing vibrant fruit in the 2024 growing season and this attention to detail resulted in impressive colour and intensity of fruit character in our red varieties, with excellent tannin maturity and evocative aromas.

EDEN VALLEY

While the winter of 2022 saw average rainfall, the latter part of the year brought cooler and above average wet weather. This led to poor flower set and encouraged the spread of downy mildew. A hail flurry on 23 January caused some damage to the growing green berries, which became sites for botrytis infections later during ripening. Shoot thinning to open up the canopy during the growing season helped to overcome disease pressure. The cool lead up to vintage resulted in a slow ripening period, allowing for great flavour development and acid retention. Rainfall during the harvest period did encourage the growth of botrytis, but careful hand selection during picking delivered good quality fruit. Despite the challenges of the season, yields were average to above average, with larger berry size compensating for the poor set. The 2023 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines with riesling, semillon and shiraz the standout varieties. Overall, the whites show intensely perfumed aromatics with a pristine acid line and outstanding flavour concentration, while the reds are deep in colour with good structure, mature tannins and excellent length.

BAROSSA VALLEY

By late winter the soil profiles had been refilled with well above average rainfall, which continued throughout spring. The wet conditions encouraged the spread of fungal disease, such as downy mildew. Shoot thinning during the growing season to open up the canopy helped to overcome disease pressure. A dry and cool December, which continued throughout summer, impacted late flowering and fruit set. Light rain events in autumn resulted in a slower ripening period in the lead up to harvest, which provided great flavour development and acid retention. Despite the challenges of the season, yields were above average with larger berry size compensating for the poor set. The 2023 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines with fruit purity, good structure, mature tannins and great length.

ADELAIDE HILLS

Winter rainfall was back to average following a comparatively dry 2021/2022 season, with a wet August and September. Cold conditions delayed budburst, but October saw rapid shoot growth. November was exceedingly wet with over three times the average rainfall across the Adelaide Hills. Continued wet weather saturated the soil, posing challenges for vineyard access and increasing disease pressure. Development of downy mildew infections in the pre-flowering bunches caused some damage, but ideal flowering conditions in mid-December resulted in good set and a moderate crop level. Veraison began in the last week of February, one of the latest on record. The 2023 pinot gris from Littlehampton was picked in the third week of March, the latest harvest since 2006. The resulting wine shows extraordinary flavour with excellent balance, aromatics and a long, lingering finish. 

LENSWOOD VINEYARD – 2023

The 2023 vintage marked three years of regenerating our bushfire affected vines, following the 2019 Cudlee Creek fire. Winter saw 550mm of rain and cold conditions at Lenswood, which delayed budburst. The end of November and early December was exceedingly wet with over three times the average rainfall. Continued wet weather saturated the soil, posing challenges for vineyard access and increasing pest and disease pressure. Development of downy mildew infections in the pre-flowering bunches caused some damage, but ideal flowering conditions in mid-December resulted in good set. Veraison began in the last week of January, which led on to an early vintage. As anticipated, a small crop was harvested, including chardonnay, riesling, gewürztraminer, grüner veltliner, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The wines show excellent aromatics, flavour and acidity.

While the winter of 2022 saw average rainfall, the latter part of the year brought cooler and above average wet weather. This led to poor flower set and encouraged the spread of downy mildew. A hail flurry on 23 January caused some damage to the growing green berries, which became sites for botrytis infections later during ripening. Shoot thinning to open up the canopy during the growing season helped to overcome disease pressure. The cool lead up to vintage resulted in a slow ripening period, allowing for great flavour development and acid retention. Rainfall during the harvest period did encourage the growth of botrytis, but careful hand selection during picking delivered good quality fruit. Despite the challenges of the season, yields were average to above average, with larger berry size compensating for the poor set. The 2023 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines with riesling, semillon and shiraz the standout varieties. Overall, the whites show intensely perfumed aromatics with a pristine acid line and outstanding flavour concentration, while the reds are deep in colour with good structure, mature tannins and excellent length.

By late winter the soil profiles had been refilled with well above average rainfall, which continued throughout spring. The wet conditions encouraged the spread of fungal disease, such as downy mildew. Shoot thinning during the growing season to open up the canopy helped to overcome disease pressure. A dry and cool December, which continued throughout summer, impacted late flowering and fruit set. Light rain events in autumn resulted in a slower ripening period in the lead up to harvest, which provided great flavour development and acid retention. Despite the challenges of the season, yields were above average with larger berry size compensating for the poor set. The 2023 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines with fruit purity, good structure, mature tannins and great length.

Winter rainfall was back to average following a comparatively dry 2021/2022 season, with a wet August and September. Cold conditions delayed budburst, but October saw rapid shoot growth. November was exceedingly wet with over three times the average rainfall across the Adelaide Hills. Continued wet weather saturated the soil, posing challenges for vineyard access and increasing disease pressure. Development of downy mildew infections in the pre-flowering bunches caused some damage, but ideal flowering conditions in mid-December resulted in good set and a moderate crop level. Veraison began in the last week of February, one of the latest on record. The 2023 pinot gris from Littlehampton was picked in the third week of March, the latest harvest since 2006. The resulting wine shows extraordinary flavour with excellent balance, aromatics and a long, lingering finish. 

LENSWOOD VINEYARD – 2023

The 2023 vintage marked three years of regenerating our bushfire affected vines, following the 2019 Cudlee Creek fire. Winter saw 550mm of rain and cold conditions at Lenswood, which delayed budburst. The end of November and early December was exceedingly wet with over three times the average rainfall. Continued wet weather saturated the soil, posing challenges for vineyard access and increasing pest and disease pressure. Development of downy mildew infections in the pre-flowering bunches caused some damage, but ideal flowering conditions in mid-December resulted in good set. Veraison began in the last week of January, which led on to an early vintage. As anticipated, a small crop was harvested, including chardonnay, riesling, gewürztraminer, grüner veltliner, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The wines show excellent aromatics, flavour and acidity.

EDEN VALLEY

The winter of 2021 brought good rainfall to refill soil profiles and the cool, slow start to the growing season resulted in budburst occurring two weeks later than average. An extreme hail event on 28 October decimated the young growth across our vineyards in Keyneton and significant crop potential was lost. Late flowering (late November/early December) avoided the cold and windy conditions, resulting in good fruit set, albeit smaller yields. A burst of summer heat without extremes supported berry development and balanced canopy growth. Welcome rain in late January kicked off veraison and ripening, providing a mild and dry finish to summer. 2022 was a late vintage with harvest dates 1-2 weeks later than the historical average. The resulting wines have great elegance with excellent aromatic and flavour intensity, bright acidity and wonderful ageing potential.

BAROSSA VALLEY

Above average 2021 winter rainfall helped to refill soil profiles and the cool, slow start to the growing season resulted in budburst occurring slightly later than average. A frost event occurred on 11 October impacted the northern Barossa Valley and was followed by an extreme hail event on 28 October, which crossed the Barossa Valley. A wetter end to spring supported the regrowth of the hail damaged canopies, but significant crop potential was lost. Cold and wet weather mid-November coincided with flowering in much of the Barossa Valley region, which impacted fruit-set and potential yields. December and January provided a burst of summer heat without any extremes, however by the beginning of vintage another severe weather event dealt a deluge of rain and even more hail to some parts of the region. The mild and dry conditions that followed were ideal for the later-ripening varieties. The cumulative impacts of the season’s weather events resulted in lower yields across the region. The 2022 wines show great aromatics, balance of acidity and a bright core of flavour, with grenache the standout variety of the season.

ADELAIDE HILLS

A wet winter brought 500mm of rain, followed by a cold, windy and damp spring. Flowering occurred around the end of December. The summer months were mild, humid and cloudy, followed by a cool autumn. The pinot gris from Littlehampton was picked in the second week of March, governed by a late harvest moon, showing excellent aromatics, flavour, acidity and ageing potential.

LENSWOOD VINEYARD – 2022

After two years of regenerating the bushfire affected vines, a wet winter brought 500mm of rain, followed by a cold, windy and damp spring, catching the edge of a serious hail event on 28 October. Flowering occurred around the end of December and was the latest ever recorded at Lenswood, aligning with the harvest moon of Easter falling deep into April. The summer months were mild, humid and cloudy, bringing some disease pressure. Autumn was cool with low light. It was an excellent season for early and mid-ripening varieties such as chardonnay, pinot noir, gewürztraminer, grüner veltliner and riesling allowing slow flavour development and good retention of acidity.

The winter of 2021 brought good rainfall to refill soil profiles and the cool, slow start to the growing season resulted in budburst occurring two weeks later than average. An extreme hail event on 28 October decimated the young growth across our vineyards in Keyneton and significant crop potential was lost. Late flowering (late November/early December) avoided the cold and windy conditions, resulting in good fruit set, albeit smaller yields. A burst of summer heat without extremes supported berry development and balanced canopy growth. Welcome rain in late January kicked off veraison and ripening, providing a mild and dry finish to summer. 2022 was a late vintage with harvest dates 1-2 weeks later than the historical average. The resulting wines have great elegance with excellent aromatic and flavour intensity, bright acidity and wonderful ageing potential.

Above average 2021 winter rainfall helped to refill soil profiles and the cool, slow start to the growing season resulted in budburst occurring slightly later than average. A frost event occurred on 11 October impacted the northern Barossa Valley and was followed by an extreme hail event on 28 October, which crossed the Barossa Valley. A wetter end to spring supported the regrowth of the hail damaged canopies, but significant crop potential was lost. Cold and wet weather mid-November coincided with flowering in much of the Barossa Valley region, which impacted fruit-set and potential yields. December and January provided a burst of summer heat without any extremes, however by the beginning of vintage another severe weather event dealt a deluge of rain and even more hail to some parts of the region. The mild and dry conditions that followed were ideal for the later-ripening varieties. The cumulative impacts of the season’s weather events resulted in lower yields across the region. The 2022 wines show great aromatics, balance of acidity and a bright core of flavour, with grenache the standout variety of the season.

A wet winter brought 500mm of rain, followed by a cold, windy and damp spring. Flowering occurred around the end of December. The summer months were mild, humid and cloudy, followed by a cool autumn. The pinot gris from Littlehampton was picked in the second week of March, governed by a late harvest moon, showing excellent aromatics, flavour, acidity and ageing potential.

LENSWOOD VINEYARD – 2022

After two years of regenerating the bushfire affected vines, a wet winter brought 500mm of rain, followed by a cold, windy and damp spring, catching the edge of a serious hail event on 28 October. Flowering occurred around the end of December and was the latest ever recorded at Lenswood, aligning with the harvest moon of Easter falling deep into April. The summer months were mild, humid and cloudy, bringing some disease pressure. Autumn was cool with low light. It was an excellent season for early and mid-ripening varieties such as chardonnay, pinot noir, gewürztraminer, grüner veltliner and riesling allowing slow flavour development and good retention of acidity.

EDEN VALLEY

Following good (average) winter rains, budburst was even and buds showed good fruitfulness. Frost damage was significant in mid-October and early November, reducing the flowerheads in the later-bursting varieties. Otherwise spring was cloudy with good rains pre-flowering, followed by short bursts of hot weather in late November. Most flowering was early, occurring from mid-November onwards with riesling showing the most consistent fruit set, however the later flowering varieties were impacted by heat at the end of November and showed some coulure/shatter in the bunches. Strong winds on 5 December 2020 damaged the canopies but the slightly battered crop remained disease free. January was dry with a burst of heat prior to a perfectly timed rain event at veraison in early February. The lead up to vintage was cool, cloudy and mostly dry with the white varieties showing balanced acidities and good aromatics. After our coolest summer for 19 years, an Indian Summer followed on through Easter providing near-ideal conditions for ripening of red varieties, achieving sensational colours, flavours and tannin maturity. Overall the wines show great balance and potential for ageing.

BAROSSA VALLEY

Average winter rainfall was followed by minor frost events in late September and spring rains in early October.  Budburst was even with good fruitfulness although heat bursts in late November affected fruit set. Strong winds in early December 2020 caused some damage to the canopies but the fruit remained disease free. January was mild and dry with a short heat wave late January at veraison, followed by rainfall in early February. The lead up to vintage and conditions during ripening remained cool, cloudy and dry, with the fruit showing balanced acidity, excellent colour and flavour development.

ADELAIDE HILLS

September brought good rainfall for the Adelaide Hills, filling most dams and encouraging even budburst. Perfect November weather during flowering delivered good set on small bunches. December passed without the usual heat and January barely warmed up before a rainfall event was received. The mild conditions remained well below 30°C in February/March, resulting in pinot gris from Littlehampton being picked in excellent condition.

LENSWOOD VINEYARD – 2021

After a year of bushfire recovery work, replacing trellises and retraining vines to the wire, September brought ample rain for Lenswood and just what was needed to encourage budburst from our fire ravaged vines. The small, mixed patch of Giles Pinot Noir clones that were spared from the Cudlee Creek fire started well and were dutifully shoot thinned to encourage growth where it was needed. November brought merciful weather during flowering and good set in December passed without the usual heat and January barely warmed up before a cooling rain event was received. February came and although warm, leaf plucking ensured that the canopies could get as much light in as possible. This proved critical for colour development. The mercury didn’t reach 30°C in March and by the 18th we had our tiny harvest; just 2 tonnes of very precious pinot noir. The fruit was in excellent condition and we were all very relieved. The fruit showed great flavour and if this is an omen, the future looks bright for Lenswood.

Following good (average) winter rains, budburst was even and buds showed good fruitfulness. Frost damage was significant in mid-October and early November, reducing the flowerheads in the later-bursting varieties. Otherwise spring was cloudy with good rains pre-flowering, followed by short bursts of hot weather in late November. Most flowering was early, occurring from mid-November onwards with riesling showing the most consistent fruit set, however the later flowering varieties were impacted by heat at the end of November and showed some coulure/shatter in the bunches. Strong winds on 5 December 2020 damaged the canopies but the slightly battered crop remained disease free. January was dry with a burst of heat prior to a perfectly timed rain event at veraison in early February. The lead up to vintage was cool, cloudy and mostly dry with the white varieties showing balanced acidities and good aromatics. After our coolest summer for 19 years, an Indian Summer followed on through Easter providing near-ideal conditions for ripening of red varieties, achieving sensational colours, flavours and tannin maturity. Overall the wines show great balance and potential for ageing.

Average winter rainfall was followed by minor frost events in late September and spring rains in early October.  Budburst was even with good fruitfulness although heat bursts in late November affected fruit set. Strong winds in early December 2020 caused some damage to the canopies but the fruit remained disease free. January was mild and dry with a short heat wave late January at veraison, followed by rainfall in early February. The lead up to vintage and conditions during ripening remained cool, cloudy and dry, with the fruit showing balanced acidity, excellent colour and flavour development.

September brought good rainfall for the Adelaide Hills, filling most dams and encouraging even budburst. Perfect November weather during flowering delivered good set on small bunches. December passed without the usual heat and January barely warmed up before a rainfall event was received. The mild conditions remained well below 30°C in February/March, resulting in pinot gris from Littlehampton being picked in excellent condition.

LENSWOOD VINEYARD – 2021

After a year of bushfire recovery work, replacing trellises and retraining vines to the wire, September brought ample rain for Lenswood and just what was needed to encourage budburst from our fire ravaged vines. The small, mixed patch of Giles Pinot Noir clones that were spared from the Cudlee Creek fire started well and were dutifully shoot thinned to encourage growth where it was needed. November brought merciful weather during flowering and good set in December passed without the usual heat and January barely warmed up before a cooling rain event was received. February came and although warm, leaf plucking ensured that the canopies could get as much light in as possible. This proved critical for colour development. The mercury didn’t reach 30°C in March and by the 18th we had our tiny harvest; just 2 tonnes of very precious pinot noir. The fruit was in excellent condition and we were all very relieved. The fruit showed great flavour and if this is an omen, the future looks bright for Lenswood.

EDEN VALLEY

The 2020 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines from the Eden Valley, albeit a meagre production due to reduced yields caused by a number of poor conditions at flowering and the extremely dry winter, spring and summer of 2019/20. The 2019 winter and spring resulted in the driest start to the growing season ever, in line with 1939 and 1961. Growth in early spring was weaker due to a hotter than average October. November was a challenging month with frosty, wet and windy conditions during flowering. Bunch size was normal, although with few berries having set, it resulted in very open clusters. Significant heatwaves from mid-December to the end of January reduced shoot growth and berry size, however at the end of the month around 40mm of rain fell, alleviating the stress just before veraison, followed by a cool ripening period in February with just three days over 30°C. Vintage was early, beginning in late February and finishing by early April. The fruit ripened in near-perfect conditions, resulting in optimal and excellent wine quality (colour, aromatics, flavours and tannin maturity). Bunches were loose and pristine, while the yield remained extremely low, at about 10% of average. The 2020 white wines are finely structured, balanced and fragrant. The red wines are intense in colour, exceptionally fragrant, spicy and well-structured.

BAROSSA VALLEY

The 2020 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines from the Barossa Valley, albeit reduced yields caused by poor conditions at flowering and the extremely dry winter, spring and summer of 2019/20. The 2019 winter and spring resulted in the driest start to the growing season ever, in line with 1939 and 1961. Growth in early spring was weaker due to a hotter than average October. November was a challenging month with some frosts and wet and windy conditions during flowering. Bunch size was normal, although with fewer berries having set, it resulted in more open clusters. Significant heatwaves from mid-December to the end of January reduced shoot growth and berry size, however at the end of the month over 40mm of rain fell, alleviating the stress just before veraison, followed by a cool ripening period in February with just three days over 30°C. Vintage was early, beginning in late February and finishing by late March. The fruit ripened in near-perfect conditions, resulting in optimal and excellent wine quality (colour, aromatics, flavours and tannin maturity). Bunches were loose and pristine, while the yield remained quite low, at about 50% of average. The 2020 red wines are intense in colour, exceptionally fragrant, spicy and well-structured.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The 2020 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines from the Adelaide Hills, except for fire affected areas. Some reduction of yield was caused by misty rain and very cold conditions at flowering. Bunch size was normal, although with fewer berries having set, it resulted in more open clusters and highly variable crop levels. Significant heatwaves from mid-December to the end of January reduced shoot growth and berry size, however higher than average rainfall at the end of January reduced the stress just before veraison, followed by a cool ripening period in February. The Adelaide Hills bushfire ignited near Cudlee Creek on a ‘Catastrophic Fire Day’ on 20 December 2019 and burned a swath of country including wine growing areas of Lenswood, Lobethal and Mount Torrens, destroying around 30% of Adelaide Hills vineyards. The Henschke Lenswood Vineyard was totally decimated. No Henschke Lenswood wines were made from the 2020 vintage due to the bushfires. The 2020 pinot gris from Littlehampton was picked in late February and the resulting wine is finely structured, balanced and fragrant.

The 2020 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines from the Eden Valley, albeit a meagre production due to reduced yields caused by a number of poor conditions at flowering and the extremely dry winter, spring and summer of 2019/20. The 2019 winter and spring resulted in the driest start to the growing season ever, in line with 1939 and 1961. Growth in early spring was weaker due to a hotter than average October. November was a challenging month with frosty, wet and windy conditions during flowering. Bunch size was normal, although with few berries having set, it resulted in very open clusters. Significant heatwaves from mid-December to the end of January reduced shoot growth and berry size, however at the end of the month around 40mm of rain fell, alleviating the stress just before veraison, followed by a cool ripening period in February with just three days over 30°C. Vintage was early, beginning in late February and finishing by early April. The fruit ripened in near-perfect conditions, resulting in optimal and excellent wine quality (colour, aromatics, flavours and tannin maturity). Bunches were loose and pristine, while the yield remained extremely low, at about 10% of average. The 2020 white wines are finely structured, balanced and fragrant. The red wines are intense in colour, exceptionally fragrant, spicy and well-structured.

The 2020 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines from the Barossa Valley, albeit reduced yields caused by poor conditions at flowering and the extremely dry winter, spring and summer of 2019/20. The 2019 winter and spring resulted in the driest start to the growing season ever, in line with 1939 and 1961. Growth in early spring was weaker due to a hotter than average October. November was a challenging month with some frosts and wet and windy conditions during flowering. Bunch size was normal, although with fewer berries having set, it resulted in more open clusters. Significant heatwaves from mid-December to the end of January reduced shoot growth and berry size, however at the end of the month over 40mm of rain fell, alleviating the stress just before veraison, followed by a cool ripening period in February with just three days over 30°C. Vintage was early, beginning in late February and finishing by late March. The fruit ripened in near-perfect conditions, resulting in optimal and excellent wine quality (colour, aromatics, flavours and tannin maturity). Bunches were loose and pristine, while the yield remained quite low, at about 50% of average. The 2020 red wines are intense in colour, exceptionally fragrant, spicy and well-structured.

The 2020 vintage will be remembered for excellent quality wines from the Adelaide Hills, except for fire affected areas. Some reduction of yield was caused by misty rain and very cold conditions at flowering. Bunch size was normal, although with fewer berries having set, it resulted in more open clusters and highly variable crop levels. Significant heatwaves from mid-December to the end of January reduced shoot growth and berry size, however higher than average rainfall at the end of January reduced the stress just before veraison, followed by a cool ripening period in February. The Adelaide Hills bushfire ignited near Cudlee Creek on a ‘Catastrophic Fire Day’ on 20 December 2019 and burned a swath of country including wine growing areas of Lenswood, Lobethal and Mount Torrens, destroying around 30% of Adelaide Hills vineyards. The Henschke Lenswood Vineyard was totally decimated. No Henschke Lenswood wines were made from the 2020 vintage due to the bushfires. The 2020 pinot gris from Littlehampton was picked in late February and the resulting wine is finely structured, balanced and fragrant.

EDEN VALLEY

A mild and dry winter, followed by a dry and windy spring, saw frost events in September and November that disrupted budburst and young shoot growth. A hailstorm in late November impacted the fresh young shoots carrying the crop, with shiraz the most affected. Warmer than average temperatures in January and February, including the hottest summer’s day on record, led to the advancement of maturity and early onset of vintage. Warm weather in late summer maintained low disease pressure and small berry size, providing optimal ripening conditions. Despite miniscule yields, 2019 was a high-quality vintage with beautiful expressions of varietal character, good structure and excellent flavour intensity.

The 2019 vintage will be remembered as a challenging season where regenerative viticulture and organic and biodynamic practices were vital to nurturing the health of the Henschke vineyards through an exceptionally warm and dry year.

BAROSSA VALLEY

Vintage 2019 shaped up to be a challenging one, with below-average yields, however the quality was very high, with beautiful expressions of varietal character and generally good balance and structure. The hand-picked fruit that arrived at the winery in the cool of the morning was clean, with good concentrated flavours. A dry winter, spring and summer with warmer than average temperatures in January and February lead to the advancement of maturity of all grape varieties in the Eden Valley and an early onset of vintage. The later-ripening varieties, riesling and cabernet were standouts, however most varieties were of a very high standard, including shiraz despite miniscule yields.

ADELAIDE HILLS

Vintage 2019 provided generally good growing conditions for the Adelaide Hills, with three notable events: the coldest September on record, the wettest November since 2005 and a mini heat wave on the cusp of January/February that the Adelaide Hills rode out extremely well due to good canopy cover. A rapid progression in berry maturation was kick-started by the Harvest Moon falling right on the spring Equinox, with all varieties ripening at the same time. Hand-harvesting was done in three weeks, bookended by the early sparkling and late red varieties. Yields were down by 20-50% due to ‘hen and chicken’ (berries of different sizes) from the cold, wet period during flowering, however quality was exceedingly good in both white and red varieties as a result of better conditions during ripening.

A mild and dry winter, followed by a dry and windy spring, saw frost events in September and November that disrupted budburst and young shoot growth. A hailstorm in late November impacted the fresh young shoots carrying the crop, with shiraz the most affected. Warmer than average temperatures in January and February, including the hottest summer’s day on record, led to the advancement of maturity and early onset of vintage. Warm weather in late summer maintained low disease pressure and small berry size, providing optimal ripening conditions. Despite miniscule yields, 2019 was a high-quality vintage with beautiful expressions of varietal character, good structure and excellent flavour intensity.

The 2019 vintage will be remembered as a challenging season where regenerative viticulture and organic and biodynamic practices were vital to nurturing the health of the Henschke vineyards through an exceptionally warm and dry year.

Vintage 2019 shaped up to be a challenging one, with below-average yields, however the quality was very high, with beautiful expressions of varietal character and generally good balance and structure. The hand-picked fruit that arrived at the winery in the cool of the morning was clean, with good concentrated flavours. A dry winter, spring and summer with warmer than average temperatures in January and February lead to the advancement of maturity of all grape varieties in the Eden Valley and an early onset of vintage. The later-ripening varieties, riesling and cabernet were standouts, however most varieties were of a very high standard, including shiraz despite miniscule yields.

Vintage 2019 provided generally good growing conditions for the Adelaide Hills, with three notable events: the coldest September on record, the wettest November since 2005 and a mini heat wave on the cusp of January/February that the Adelaide Hills rode out extremely well due to good canopy cover. A rapid progression in berry maturation was kick-started by the Harvest Moon falling right on the spring Equinox, with all varieties ripening at the same time. Hand-harvesting was done in three weeks, bookended by the early sparkling and late red varieties. Yields were down by 20-50% due to ‘hen and chicken’ (berries of different sizes) from the cold, wet period during flowering, however quality was exceedingly good in both white and red varieties as a result of better conditions during ripening.

EDEN VALLEY

A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer led to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry and assured for healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically hot and dry but extreme heat periods were shorter than in recent memory, characterised instead by well above-average overnight temperatures. The old-vine vineyards coped well with the warm nights, their deep roots able to withstand the warming and drying effect on the topsoil, maturing the balanced crops as autumn approached. March and April provided the light and warmth to the Eden Valley which led to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. With warm sunny days and cool nights, the dry autumn guaranteed that pristinely healthy grapes arrived in the fermenters.

All in all, the 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of this decade. Shiraz was certainly one of the highlights of the season, fittingly so in the year we celebrated our 150th anniversary of family winemaking.

BAROSSA VALLEY

A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer led to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry and assured for healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically hot and dry but extreme heat periods were shorter than in recent memory, characterised instead by well above-average overnight temperatures. March and April provided the light and warmth which lead to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. All in all, the 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of this decade, fittingly so in the year we celebrated our 150th anniversary of family winemaking.

ADELAIDE HILLS

After a typical wet and cold winter, spring brought particularly mild and unstable weather to Lenswood with fogs, rain, and numerous hail events, fortunately with no resulting damage. These cold hail blasts delayed flowering, and due to an early Harvest Moon, the growing season became quite compressed, requiring more work in the vineyard with shoot thinning and foliage lifting. A long, dry mild spell from Christmas to Easter provided ideal ripening conditions; allowing tannins to mature, acids to moderate and depth of flavour to develop. Fruit quality across the board was outstanding, the whites for their purity and balance, which really defined the season after some challenging early conditions. 2018 was a fantastic year for Lenswood, with high natural acidities and excellent varietal character.

A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer led to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry and assured for healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically hot and dry but extreme heat periods were shorter than in recent memory, characterised instead by well above-average overnight temperatures. The old-vine vineyards coped well with the warm nights, their deep roots able to withstand the warming and drying effect on the topsoil, maturing the balanced crops as autumn approached. March and April provided the light and warmth to the Eden Valley which led to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. With warm sunny days and cool nights, the dry autumn guaranteed that pristinely healthy grapes arrived in the fermenters.

All in all, the 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of this decade. Shiraz was certainly one of the highlights of the season, fittingly so in the year we celebrated our 150th anniversary of family winemaking.

A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer led to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry and assured for healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically hot and dry but extreme heat periods were shorter than in recent memory, characterised instead by well above-average overnight temperatures. March and April provided the light and warmth which lead to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. All in all, the 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of this decade, fittingly so in the year we celebrated our 150th anniversary of family winemaking.

After a typical wet and cold winter, spring brought particularly mild and unstable weather to Lenswood with fogs, rain, and numerous hail events, fortunately with no resulting damage. These cold hail blasts delayed flowering, and due to an early Harvest Moon, the growing season became quite compressed, requiring more work in the vineyard with shoot thinning and foliage lifting. A long, dry mild spell from Christmas to Easter provided ideal ripening conditions; allowing tannins to mature, acids to moderate and depth of flavour to develop. Fruit quality across the board was outstanding, the whites for their purity and balance, which really defined the season after some challenging early conditions. 2018 was a fantastic year for Lenswood, with high natural acidities and excellent varietal character.

EDEN VALLEY

A later start to picking and a mild period of ripening finished with the last grapes being picked in mid-May. A wet 2016 winter gave us a good foundation for our predominantly dry-grown vines on their own roots, and a cool, wet and fiercely windy spring followed, with a slightly higher spring rainfall than the Barossa Valley, which delayed flowering, though conditions during set meant that yields were at average levels. A mild summer with regular rainfall events followed, which allowed the grapes to reach full physiological maturity. The significant rainfall events largely missed our area and therefore we harvested the majority of our grapes in healthy condition. As always, careful hand picking in the vineyard and sorting of grapes as they were processed made sure that quality was not compromised. 2017 will be characterised by beautiful anise and black pepper, an indicator of our slightly cooler conditions.

BAROSSA VALLEY

Picking began two weeks later than usual and a mild period of ripening finished with the last grapes being picked in the first week of May. A wet 2016 winter gave us a good foundation for a cool, wet and windy spring, with spring temperatures approximately 2C below average Wet soils, combined with cooler temperatures resulted in slow shoot development, however the lack of stress in the vines meant that the flowers developed well. Favourable weather during flowering resulted in good fruit set. A mild summer with regular rainfall events followed, which allowed the grapes to reach full physiological maturity. The significant rainfall events largely missed the valley and the fruit was harvested in healthy condition. As always, careful hand picking in the vineyard and sorting of grapes as they were crushed made sure that quality was not compromised. 2017 was a classic vintage for Henschke, with well-balanced wines exhibiting beautiful fragrance, spice, purity and elegance.

ADELAIDE HILLS

Extremely heavy winter rainfall and ferocious spring winds and hail set up one of the most challenging vintages we have ever experienced at Lenswood. Flowering was late, occurring in December rather than November, in rare calm and sunny weather which set us up for good yields. The conditions post-Christmas were characterised by elevated evening temperatures, heavy rain every four days, foggy mornings and low day time temperatures.
Harvest started in March; three weeks later than usual. By Easter, all Adelaide Hills whites and our pinot noir were safely in the winery, and in excellent condition despite 760mm falling during the growing season. This was a vintage saved in the vineyard by the outstanding work of the Adelaide Hills viticultural team under extremely trying conditions. The Noble Gewϋrztraminer, merlot and cabernet were all picked in May. Results exceeded expectations, and the flavours in the wines defy the conditions in which they grew and ripened. The Lenswood vineyard continues to show enormous resilience, and the soil health no doubt plays an important role in the beautiful wines created in 2017.

A later start to picking and a mild period of ripening finished with the last grapes being picked in mid-May. A wet 2016 winter gave us a good foundation for our predominantly dry-grown vines on their own roots, and a cool, wet and fiercely windy spring followed, with a slightly higher spring rainfall than the Barossa Valley, which delayed flowering, though conditions during set meant that yields were at average levels. A mild summer with regular rainfall events followed, which allowed the grapes to reach full physiological maturity. The significant rainfall events largely missed our area and therefore we harvested the majority of our grapes in healthy condition. As always, careful hand picking in the vineyard and sorting of grapes as they were processed made sure that quality was not compromised. 2017 will be characterised by beautiful anise and black pepper, an indicator of our slightly cooler conditions.

Picking began two weeks later than usual and a mild period of ripening finished with the last grapes being picked in the first week of May. A wet 2016 winter gave us a good foundation for a cool, wet and windy spring, with spring temperatures approximately 2C below average Wet soils, combined with cooler temperatures resulted in slow shoot development, however the lack of stress in the vines meant that the flowers developed well. Favourable weather during flowering resulted in good fruit set. A mild summer with regular rainfall events followed, which allowed the grapes to reach full physiological maturity. The significant rainfall events largely missed the valley and the fruit was harvested in healthy condition. As always, careful hand picking in the vineyard and sorting of grapes as they were crushed made sure that quality was not compromised. 2017 was a classic vintage for Henschke, with well-balanced wines exhibiting beautiful fragrance, spice, purity and elegance.

Extremely heavy winter rainfall and ferocious spring winds and hail set up one of the most challenging vintages we have ever experienced at Lenswood. Flowering was late, occurring in December rather than November, in rare calm and sunny weather which set us up for good yields. The conditions post-Christmas were characterised by elevated evening temperatures, heavy rain every four days, foggy mornings and low day time temperatures.
Harvest started in March; three weeks later than usual. By Easter, all Adelaide Hills whites and our pinot noir were safely in the winery, and in excellent condition despite 760mm falling during the growing season. This was a vintage saved in the vineyard by the outstanding work of the Adelaide Hills viticultural team under extremely trying conditions. The Noble Gewϋrztraminer, merlot and cabernet were all picked in May. Results exceeded expectations, and the flavours in the wines defy the conditions in which they grew and ripened. The Lenswood vineyard continues to show enormous resilience, and the soil health no doubt plays an important role in the beautiful wines created in 2017.

EDEN VALLEY

The 2016 vintage began with well below-average winter rainfall, followed by a warm and dry spring, which enhanced flowering and set to give average to above-average yield potential. Low disease pressure was maintained by one of the hottest Decembers on record, though temperatures cooled down in the New Year and rainfall around veraison in late January brought relief to the ancient, dry-grown vines. This was followed by further rainfall in early March which eased the stress on all varieties. The fruit matured with an earlier harvest, as predicted due to an early Easter. Open, light and airy vine canopies allowed for good flavour, sugar and colour and mature tannins to develop at harvest, which was overall characterised by average yields but very high quality.

BAROSSA VALLEY

The 2016 vintage began with well below-average winter rainfall, followed by a warm and dry spring, which enhanced flowering and set to give average to above-average yield potential. Low disease pressure was maintained by one of the hottest Decembers on record, though temperatures cooled down in the New Year and rainfall around veraison in late January gave relief to the old, dry-grown vines. This was followed by further rainfall in early March which eased the stress on all varieties. The fruit matured with an earlier harvest, as predicted due to an early Easter. Open, light and airy vine canopies allowed for good flavour, sugar and colour and mature tannins to develop at harvest, which was overall characterised by average yields but very high quality.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The 2016 vintage began with below-average winter rainfall, followed by a warm and dry spring, which enhanced flowering and set to provide average to above-average yield potential. Low disease pressure was maintained by one of the hottest Decembers on record, though temperatures cooled down in the New Year and rainfall around veraison in late January/early February brought relief to our early-ripening varieties in the Adelaide Hills, resulting in excellent conditions for natural acid retention and clean fruit. This was followed by further rainfall in early March, which eased the stress on the late-ripening varieties, allowing them to mature towards a predicted earlier harvest due to an early Easter. Open, light and airy vine canopies allowed for good flavour, sugar, colour and mature tannins to develop at harvest, which was overall characterised by average yields but very high quality.

The 2016 vintage began with well below-average winter rainfall, followed by a warm and dry spring, which enhanced flowering and set to give average to above-average yield potential. Low disease pressure was maintained by one of the hottest Decembers on record, though temperatures cooled down in the New Year and rainfall around veraison in late January brought relief to the ancient, dry-grown vines. This was followed by further rainfall in early March which eased the stress on all varieties. The fruit matured with an earlier harvest, as predicted due to an early Easter. Open, light and airy vine canopies allowed for good flavour, sugar and colour and mature tannins to develop at harvest, which was overall characterised by average yields but very high quality.

The 2016 vintage began with well below-average winter rainfall, followed by a warm and dry spring, which enhanced flowering and set to give average to above-average yield potential. Low disease pressure was maintained by one of the hottest Decembers on record, though temperatures cooled down in the New Year and rainfall around veraison in late January gave relief to the old, dry-grown vines. This was followed by further rainfall in early March which eased the stress on all varieties. The fruit matured with an earlier harvest, as predicted due to an early Easter. Open, light and airy vine canopies allowed for good flavour, sugar and colour and mature tannins to develop at harvest, which was overall characterised by average yields but very high quality.

The 2016 vintage began with below-average winter rainfall, followed by a warm and dry spring, which enhanced flowering and set to provide average to above-average yield potential. Low disease pressure was maintained by one of the hottest Decembers on record, though temperatures cooled down in the New Year and rainfall around veraison in late January/early February brought relief to our early-ripening varieties in the Adelaide Hills, resulting in excellent conditions for natural acid retention and clean fruit. This was followed by further rainfall in early March, which eased the stress on the late-ripening varieties, allowing them to mature towards a predicted earlier harvest due to an early Easter. Open, light and airy vine canopies allowed for good flavour, sugar, colour and mature tannins to develop at harvest, which was overall characterised by average yields but very high quality.

EDEN VALLEY

A traditionally wet winter, mild spring and excellent fruit set provided a great start to the 2015 vintage after four vintages with below average yields. Spring was dry and led into a very mild, dry summer with no disease, resulting in fruit with higher natural acidity, and incredible flavour and colour concentration. January started with dry, hot and windy weather however by the end of the first week, relief came with 60-75mm of rain and a record-breaking coolest January in 11 years. The rain was perfectly timed for the old dry-grown vineyards, and the mild weather that followed from February through to April provided for a fairytale vintage. Most of our white varieties and some Eden Valley shiraz were in before Easter, moving on to the rest of our Eden Valley red varieties soon after, and eventually winding down at the end of April as the rain and cooler temperatures set in. The 2015 vintage has provided stunning signature riesling and elegant shiraz that show extraordinary flavour, purity of fruit and acid balance with the potential for excellent ageing. 

BAROSSA VALLEY

A traditionally wet winter, mild spring and excellent fruit set provided a great start to the 2015 vintage after four vintages with below average yields. Spring was dry and led into a very mild, dry summer with no disease, resulting in fruit with higher natural acidity, and incredible flavour and colour concentration. January started with dry, hot and windy weather however by the end of the first week, relief came with 60-75mm of rain and a record-breaking coolest January in 11 years. The rushed and somewhat compressed vintage began in late January and was one of the earliest on record. The mild weather that followed from February allowed for an extended ripening period for later red varieties, such as Grenache and Mataro providing for excellent yields and exceptional quality showing extraordinary flavour, purity of fruit, excellent balance with the potential for excellent ageing. 

ADELAIDE HILLS

A traditionally wet winter, mild spring and excellent fruit set provided a great start to the 2015 vintage after four vintages with below average yields. Spring was dry and led into a very mild, dry summer with no disease, resulting in fruit with higher natural acidity, and incredible flavour and colour concentration. A dry, warm and windy start to January, however, resulted in one of the worst bushfires in the Adelaide Hills in living memory, though well away from our Lenswood vineyards.  By the end of the first week, relief came with 60-75mm of rain and a record-breaking coolest January in 11 years. With the onset of veraison at the end of January, the rain was perfectly timed for our vineyards, and the mild weather that followed from February through to April provided for a fairytale vintage. Most of the white varieties were in before Easter, moving on to the reds soon after, and eventually winding down at the end of April as the rain and cooler temperatures set in. The 2015 vintage has provided classic Adelaide Hills expressions of riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir that show extraordinary flavour, purity of fruit and acid balance with the potential for excellent ageing. 

A traditionally wet winter, mild spring and excellent fruit set provided a great start to the 2015 vintage after four vintages with below average yields. Spring was dry and led into a very mild, dry summer with no disease, resulting in fruit with higher natural acidity, and incredible flavour and colour concentration. January started with dry, hot and windy weather however by the end of the first week, relief came with 60-75mm of rain and a record-breaking coolest January in 11 years. The rain was perfectly timed for the old dry-grown vineyards, and the mild weather that followed from February through to April provided for a fairytale vintage. Most of our white varieties and some Eden Valley shiraz were in before Easter, moving on to the rest of our Eden Valley red varieties soon after, and eventually winding down at the end of April as the rain and cooler temperatures set in. The 2015 vintage has provided stunning signature riesling and elegant shiraz that show extraordinary flavour, purity of fruit and acid balance with the potential for excellent ageing. 

A traditionally wet winter, mild spring and excellent fruit set provided a great start to the 2015 vintage after four vintages with below average yields. Spring was dry and led into a very mild, dry summer with no disease, resulting in fruit with higher natural acidity, and incredible flavour and colour concentration. January started with dry, hot and windy weather however by the end of the first week, relief came with 60-75mm of rain and a record-breaking coolest January in 11 years. The rushed and somewhat compressed vintage began in late January and was one of the earliest on record. The mild weather that followed from February allowed for an extended ripening period for later red varieties, such as Grenache and Mataro providing for excellent yields and exceptional quality showing extraordinary flavour, purity of fruit, excellent balance with the potential for excellent ageing. 

A traditionally wet winter, mild spring and excellent fruit set provided a great start to the 2015 vintage after four vintages with below average yields. Spring was dry and led into a very mild, dry summer with no disease, resulting in fruit with higher natural acidity, and incredible flavour and colour concentration. A dry, warm and windy start to January, however, resulted in one of the worst bushfires in the Adelaide Hills in living memory, though well away from our Lenswood vineyards.  By the end of the first week, relief came with 60-75mm of rain and a record-breaking coolest January in 11 years. With the onset of veraison at the end of January, the rain was perfectly timed for our vineyards, and the mild weather that followed from February through to April provided for a fairytale vintage. Most of the white varieties were in before Easter, moving on to the reds soon after, and eventually winding down at the end of April as the rain and cooler temperatures set in. The 2015 vintage has provided classic Adelaide Hills expressions of riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir that show extraordinary flavour, purity of fruit and acid balance with the potential for excellent ageing. 

EDEN VALLEY

The 2014 vintage began with the winery coming alive to the fragrant aromas of fermentation. But what a year we’ve had! This year, the moon cycles put Easter quite late in the season, so the expectation of a late harvest prevailed…until South Australia experienced its record number of heat days over 40C in January, culminating in the worst bushfire in Eden Valley in living memory. This taste of hell ended in the wettest February in 44 years – all in 48 hours, when we received between 115 and 150mm of rain. Fortunately, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills were still in veraison, which allowed the quenching rain to rebalance the fruit, particularly in the older dry-grown vineyards. The yields appeared depressingly minuscule, due to a severe black frost in spring and cold windy weather during flowering in early December. Early picks of semillon and shiraz after the heat wave were in response to vine stress. The change to mild autumnal weather in late February after the rains allowed for a focus on other early vintage varieties, riesling in Eden Valley and pinot noir at Lenswood. Mild weather with cold dewy mornings and windy days prevailed. Disease pressure increased as March became colder and wetter, which seemed to change to a winter pattern after the equinox. It was indeed a late vintage and also resulted in one of our longest vintages. The picking of Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot brought the season to a close at the beginning of May, where skilled vineyard teams played a critical role by hand selecting and picking the best quality fruit during the onset of rain and cold wintery weather.

In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The 2014 vintage began with the winery coming alive to the fragrant aromas of fermentation. But what a year we’ve had! This year, the moon cycles put Easter quite late in the season, so the expectation of a late harvest prevailed…until South Australia experienced its record number of heat days over 40C in January, culminating in the worst bushfire in Eden Valley in living memory. This taste of hell ended in the wettest February in 44 years – all in 48 hours, when we received between 115 and 150mm of rain. Fortunately, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills were still in veraison, which allowed the quenching rain to rebalance the fruit, particularly in the older dry-grown vineyards. The yields appeared depressingly minuscule, due to a severe black frost in spring and cold windy weather during flowering in early December. Early picks of semillon and shiraz after the heat wave were in response to vine stress. The change to mild autumnal weather in late February after the rains allowed for a focus on other early vintage varieties, riesling in Eden Valley and pinot noir at Lenswood. Mild weather with cold dewy mornings and windy days prevailed. Disease pressure increased as March became colder and wetter, which seemed to change to a winter pattern after the equinox. It was indeed a late vintage and also resulted in one of our longest vintages. The picking of Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot brought the season to a close at the beginning of May, where skilled vineyard teams played a critical role by hand selecting and picking the best quality fruit during the onset of rain and cold wintery weather.

In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

The 2014 vintage began with the winery coming alive to the fragrant aromas of fermentation. But what a year we’ve had! This year, the moon cycles put Easter quite late in the season, so the expectation of a late harvest prevailed…until South Australia experienced its record number of heat days over 40C in January, culminating in the worst bushfire in Eden Valley in living memory. This taste of hell ended in the wettest February in 44 years – all in 48 hours, when we received between 115 and 150mm of rain. Fortunately, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills were still in veraison, which allowed the quenching rain to rebalance the fruit, particularly in the older dry-grown vineyards. The yields appeared depressingly minuscule, due to a severe black frost in spring and cold windy weather during flowering in early December. Early picks of semillon and shiraz after the heat wave were in response to vine stress. The change to mild autumnal weather in late February after the rains allowed for a focus on other early vintage varieties, riesling in Eden Valley and pinot noir at Lenswood. Mild weather with cold dewy mornings and windy days prevailed. Disease pressure increased as March became colder and wetter, which seemed to change to a winter pattern after the equinox. It was indeed a late vintage and also resulted in one of our longest vintages. The picking of Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot brought the season to a close at the beginning of May, where skilled vineyard teams played a critical role by hand selecting and picking the best quality fruit during the onset of rain and cold wintery weather.

In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

The 2014 vintage began with the winery coming alive to the fragrant aromas of fermentation. But what a year we’ve had! This year, the moon cycles put Easter quite late in the season, so the expectation of a late harvest prevailed…until South Australia experienced its record number of heat days over 40C in January, culminating in the worst bushfire in Eden Valley in living memory. This taste of hell ended in the wettest February in 44 years – all in 48 hours, when we received between 115 and 150mm of rain. Fortunately, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills were still in veraison, which allowed the quenching rain to rebalance the fruit, particularly in the older dry-grown vineyards. The yields appeared depressingly minuscule, due to a severe black frost in spring and cold windy weather during flowering in early December. Early picks of semillon and shiraz after the heat wave were in response to vine stress. The change to mild autumnal weather in late February after the rains allowed for a focus on other early vintage varieties, riesling in Eden Valley and pinot noir at Lenswood. Mild weather with cold dewy mornings and windy days prevailed. Disease pressure increased as March became colder and wetter, which seemed to change to a winter pattern after the equinox. It was indeed a late vintage and also resulted in one of our longest vintages. The picking of Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot brought the season to a close at the beginning of May, where skilled vineyard teams played a critical role by hand selecting and picking the best quality fruit during the onset of rain and cold wintery weather.

In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

EDEN VALLEY

The 2014 vintage began with the winery coming alive to the fragrant aromas of fermentation. But what a year we’ve had! This year, the moon cycles put Easter quite late in the season, so the expectation of a late harvest prevailed…until South Australia experienced its record number of heat days over 40C in January, culminating in the worst bushfire in Eden Valley in living memory. This taste of hell ended in the wettest February in 44 years – all in 48 hours, when we received between 115 and 150mm of rain. Fortunately, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills were still in veraison, which allowed the quenching rain to rebalance the fruit, particularly in the older dry-grown vineyards. The yields appeared depressingly minuscule, due to a severe black frost in spring and cold windy weather during flowering in early December. Early picks of semillon and shiraz after the heat wave were in response to vine stress. The change to mild autumnal weather in late February after the rains allowed for a focus on other early vintage varieties, riesling in Eden Valley and pinot noir at Lenswood. Mild weather with cold dewy mornings and windy days prevailed. Disease pressure increased as March became colder and wetter, which seemed to change to a winter pattern after the equinox. It was indeed a late vintage and also resulted in one of our longest vintages. The picking of Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot brought the season to a close at the beginning of May, where skilled vineyard teams played a critical role by hand selecting and picking the best quality fruit during the onset of rain and cold wintery weather.

In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The 2013 harvest was expected to be early, with the Easter full moon very close to the autumn equinox, and sure enough budburst started early in spring 2012 with green shoots emerging in the first week of September suggesting this would be so.

All varieties woke to a cool and mild spring, with cabernet the last to greet the sun on October 1. A snow flurry in early October led into a mild November, with warm days and nights providing excellent conditions for flowering. Set was excellent across all varieties.

Spring was conspicuous for its dryness but thankfully frost free, and as summer approached the vines developed beautifully balanced canopies and rain was just a distant memory. It was not to rain again until the end of harvest, seven dry months that produced a green drought.

As harvest time approached, it was abundantly clear that 2013 was going to be exceptional in terms of yield and quality across all varieties – a rare thing in the lofty airs of Lenswood, where weather events usually dictate terms that are best described as challenging!

Chardonnay and riesling were fabulous, as too were sauvignon blanc, gewϋrztraminer, pinot gris, merlot and cabernet. But the vintage will be defined by the pinot noir, which was developing flavours well ahead of the baume curve, requiring close attention with blocks being selectively picked four times over two weeks, chasing those elusive pinot flavours that present Turkish delight, cherries, five spice and a potpourri of herbs, with lively acids. We can look forward to elegant and long-lived pinots from the numerous parcels that came in.

Lenswood does not give up her fruit easily but every now and then she tosses a furtive glance your way and delivers the unexpected. The 2013 harvest will be remembered as near perfection in a year of snow and drought, truly a rare and exceptional vintage. Wherever your preferences lie, 2013 will reward you handsomely with power and finesse.

In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

The 2014 vintage began with the winery coming alive to the fragrant aromas of fermentation. But what a year we’ve had! This year, the moon cycles put Easter quite late in the season, so the expectation of a late harvest prevailed…until South Australia experienced its record number of heat days over 40C in January, culminating in the worst bushfire in Eden Valley in living memory. This taste of hell ended in the wettest February in 44 years – all in 48 hours, when we received between 115 and 150mm of rain. Fortunately, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills were still in veraison, which allowed the quenching rain to rebalance the fruit, particularly in the older dry-grown vineyards. The yields appeared depressingly minuscule, due to a severe black frost in spring and cold windy weather during flowering in early December. Early picks of semillon and shiraz after the heat wave were in response to vine stress. The change to mild autumnal weather in late February after the rains allowed for a focus on other early vintage varieties, riesling in Eden Valley and pinot noir at Lenswood. Mild weather with cold dewy mornings and windy days prevailed. Disease pressure increased as March became colder and wetter, which seemed to change to a winter pattern after the equinox. It was indeed a late vintage and also resulted in one of our longest vintages. The picking of Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot brought the season to a close at the beginning of May, where skilled vineyard teams played a critical role by hand selecting and picking the best quality fruit during the onset of rain and cold wintery weather.

In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

The 2013 harvest was expected to be early, with the Easter full moon very close to the autumn equinox, and sure enough budburst started early in spring 2012 with green shoots emerging in the first week of September suggesting this would be so.

All varieties woke to a cool and mild spring, with cabernet the last to greet the sun on October 1. A snow flurry in early October led into a mild November, with warm days and nights providing excellent conditions for flowering. Set was excellent across all varieties.

Spring was conspicuous for its dryness but thankfully frost free, and as summer approached the vines developed beautifully balanced canopies and rain was just a distant memory. It was not to rain again until the end of harvest, seven dry months that produced a green drought.

As harvest time approached, it was abundantly clear that 2013 was going to be exceptional in terms of yield and quality across all varieties – a rare thing in the lofty airs of Lenswood, where weather events usually dictate terms that are best described as challenging!

Chardonnay and riesling were fabulous, as too were sauvignon blanc, gewϋrztraminer, pinot gris, merlot and cabernet. But the vintage will be defined by the pinot noir, which was developing flavours well ahead of the baume curve, requiring close attention with blocks being selectively picked four times over two weeks, chasing those elusive pinot flavours that present Turkish delight, cherries, five spice and a potpourri of herbs, with lively acids. We can look forward to elegant and long-lived pinots from the numerous parcels that came in.

Lenswood does not give up her fruit easily but every now and then she tosses a furtive glance your way and delivers the unexpected. The 2013 harvest will be remembered as near perfection in a year of snow and drought, truly a rare and exceptional vintage. Wherever your preferences lie, 2013 will reward you handsomely with power and finesse.

In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

EDEN VALLEY

The La Niña pattern weakened during the lead-up to the 2012 vintage, resulting in below average winter and spring rainfall. July was the driest since the serious drought of 2003. Spring was mild with few frost events; however, flowering and fruit set were affected by wet drizzly weather in mid to late November, leading to only average yields. Summer was also surprisingly mild with below average temperatures from southerlies off the ocean in January and only two short heat events, at New Year and at the end of February. This provided for a slow ripening period, which allowed for intense fruit flavours, high colour figures, high acidity and mature tannins. Rainfall leading up to vintage was above average, with the heaviest rainfall events in late January and late February, which tied in well with the natural physiology of the dry-grown vines; ie, keeping leaves active at veraison and ripening. Temperatures were mild during harvest though March, warming to an Indian summer in April, allowing for a long window of picking and amazing maturities with the red varieties. Standout varieties are riesling, showing delightful aromatics, purity, intensity, excellent acidity and length of flavour, and shiraz, showing great purity and spice, colour intensity and strikingly mature tannins. Yields were average with exceptional overall quality.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The beginning of the season for the 2012 vintage saw a drier, cold winter with below average rainfall. Rainfall was also below average in spring with mild conditions and an early budburst. Flowering and fruit set were affected by persistent morning fogs and drizzly weather. This led to a reduction in crop and smaller bunches. Summer was mild with average temperatures influenced by moderating southerlies off the ocean in January and only two short heat events, at New Year and at the end of February. The coldest periods were in the second week of January and the second week of February. This provided for a slow ripening period, which encouraged intense fruit flavours, high natural acidity and good balance. Rainfall leading up to vintage was above average, with the heaviest rainfall events in late January and late February. Temperatures were average going into an early harvest at the beginning of March, warming to an Indian summer in April. This allowed for a long window of picking, finishing on April 20. Standout varieties are chardonnay, showing exquisite fruit flavours, length and acidity, and pinot noir, showing excellent spice, colour intensity and mature velvety tannins. Yields were below average; however, overall quality is exceptional.

The La Niña pattern weakened during the lead-up to the 2012 vintage, resulting in below average winter and spring rainfall. July was the driest since the serious drought of 2003. Spring was mild with few frost events; however, flowering and fruit set were affected by wet drizzly weather in mid to late November, leading to only average yields. Summer was also surprisingly mild with below average temperatures from southerlies off the ocean in January and only two short heat events, at New Year and at the end of February. This provided for a slow ripening period, which allowed for intense fruit flavours, high colour figures, high acidity and mature tannins. Rainfall leading up to vintage was above average, with the heaviest rainfall events in late January and late February, which tied in well with the natural physiology of the dry-grown vines; ie, keeping leaves active at veraison and ripening. Temperatures were mild during harvest though March, warming to an Indian summer in April, allowing for a long window of picking and amazing maturities with the red varieties. Standout varieties are riesling, showing delightful aromatics, purity, intensity, excellent acidity and length of flavour, and shiraz, showing great purity and spice, colour intensity and strikingly mature tannins. Yields were average with exceptional overall quality.

The beginning of the season for the 2012 vintage saw a drier, cold winter with below average rainfall. Rainfall was also below average in spring with mild conditions and an early budburst. Flowering and fruit set were affected by persistent morning fogs and drizzly weather. This led to a reduction in crop and smaller bunches. Summer was mild with average temperatures influenced by moderating southerlies off the ocean in January and only two short heat events, at New Year and at the end of February. The coldest periods were in the second week of January and the second week of February. This provided for a slow ripening period, which encouraged intense fruit flavours, high natural acidity and good balance. Rainfall leading up to vintage was above average, with the heaviest rainfall events in late January and late February. Temperatures were average going into an early harvest at the beginning of March, warming to an Indian summer in April. This allowed for a long window of picking, finishing on April 20. Standout varieties are chardonnay, showing exquisite fruit flavours, length and acidity, and pinot noir, showing excellent spice, colour intensity and mature velvety tannins. Yields were below average; however, overall quality is exceptional.

EDEN VALLEY

The lead-up to the 2011 vintage was very different to past seasons. A strong La Niña event dominated the weather pattern, bringing a wetter than average winter and the coldest for 13 years. The drought was broken across the country with floods in the eastern states and a return to high river levels and full dams. The wettest spring was recorded, with the coldest average spring temperatures since 2005. Vine growth was extremely vigorous due to high soil moisture levels and regular thunderstorm activity. The wettest December day ever was recorded on December 7. Summer was generally mild, with one rainfall event mid-January and three days in the 40s at the end of January. The spin-off from Cyclone Yasi and monsoonal activity in the north and west brought more unseasonal weather across the southern regions of the country. Weather conditions encouraged the spread of powdery mildew and downy mildew, with the highest levels of disease experienced since 1992/93. There was also a return of plague locusts through the region, causing damage in the more isolated vineyards. Veraison began in mid-February, heralding a late beginning to the harvest. Thunderstorm activity continued through February with mild temperatures causing a nervous anticipation to the impending vintage. Rain, high humidity and mild temperatures continued through March, making it one of the wettest since 1974. This affected the ripening but allowed for early flavour development and maintained acidity. The humid, wet conditions encouraged the growth of botrytis, making hand-selected fruit essential. Despite the difficult conditions, the flavours in the Eden Valley whites, in particular riesling, were incredible.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The lead-up to the 2011 vintage saw a return to normal conditions. A milder winter with average rainfalls led into a cool spring and a late budburt, interspersed with numerous significant rainfall events beginning at flowering, accompanied by persistent morning fogs, as well as snow in October and frost in November. This led to some crop loss in some of our more sensitive varieties susceptible to downy mildew. Despite this, vine growth and fruit development continued at a steady and even pace. Summer was generally mild with significant thunderstorm activity largely skirting Lenswood. Veraison began in late February, heralding a late beginning to the harvest with mild temperatures causing a nervous anticipation of what was potentially a very high quality crop. Only powdery mildew could affect the outcome, so great attention was paid to leaf plucking around bunches and disease monitoring. Bunch and berry weight were lower, which resulted in lower yields and greater concentration of colour and flavour in the fruit. The unseasonal rain, high humidity and mild conditions during autumn encouraged the spread of fungal diseases. Botrytis developed quickly under ideal conditions, making hand-selection essential. Fortunately, the cool summer had allowed for early flavour development at lower than normal sugar levels, and despite the difficult conditions, the Adelaide Hills produced some excellent whites, in particular riesling and sauvignon blanc.

The lead-up to the 2011 vintage was very different to past seasons. A strong La Niña event dominated the weather pattern, bringing a wetter than average winter and the coldest for 13 years. The drought was broken across the country with floods in the eastern states and a return to high river levels and full dams. The wettest spring was recorded, with the coldest average spring temperatures since 2005. Vine growth was extremely vigorous due to high soil moisture levels and regular thunderstorm activity. The wettest December day ever was recorded on December 7. Summer was generally mild, with one rainfall event mid-January and three days in the 40s at the end of January. The spin-off from Cyclone Yasi and monsoonal activity in the north and west brought more unseasonal weather across the southern regions of the country. Weather conditions encouraged the spread of powdery mildew and downy mildew, with the highest levels of disease experienced since 1992/93. There was also a return of plague locusts through the region, causing damage in the more isolated vineyards. Veraison began in mid-February, heralding a late beginning to the harvest. Thunderstorm activity continued through February with mild temperatures causing a nervous anticipation to the impending vintage. Rain, high humidity and mild temperatures continued through March, making it one of the wettest since 1974. This affected the ripening but allowed for early flavour development and maintained acidity. The humid, wet conditions encouraged the growth of botrytis, making hand-selected fruit essential. Despite the difficult conditions, the flavours in the Eden Valley whites, in particular riesling, were incredible.

The lead-up to the 2011 vintage saw a return to normal conditions. A milder winter with average rainfalls led into a cool spring and a late budburt, interspersed with numerous significant rainfall events beginning at flowering, accompanied by persistent morning fogs, as well as snow in October and frost in November. This led to some crop loss in some of our more sensitive varieties susceptible to downy mildew. Despite this, vine growth and fruit development continued at a steady and even pace. Summer was generally mild with significant thunderstorm activity largely skirting Lenswood. Veraison began in late February, heralding a late beginning to the harvest with mild temperatures causing a nervous anticipation of what was potentially a very high quality crop. Only powdery mildew could affect the outcome, so great attention was paid to leaf plucking around bunches and disease monitoring. Bunch and berry weight were lower, which resulted in lower yields and greater concentration of colour and flavour in the fruit. The unseasonal rain, high humidity and mild conditions during autumn encouraged the spread of fungal diseases. Botrytis developed quickly under ideal conditions, making hand-selection essential. Fortunately, the cool summer had allowed for early flavour development at lower than normal sugar levels, and despite the difficult conditions, the Adelaide Hills produced some excellent whites, in particular riesling and sauvignon blanc.

EDEN VALLEY

The 2010 growing season was preceded by above average winter rainfall that built up moisture in the soil profile and provided water for the dams. Spring was mild with little frost damage and gave us an even budburst. The weather remained cold and wet through spring which held back growth until a two-week high 30s heat wave in November affected flowering and fruit set. Spring rains continued into early summer right through until mid-December, making it the wettest year since 2005. The vines responded to the heat and grew vigorously until early January, developing lush canopies, but bunch development suffered as a result. A roller-coaster-ride of heat spikes and cool changes continued through a warm summer with occasional thunderstorms. The vines continued to look very healthy and went through veraison a week earlier than in 2009.  Lower yields coupled with the mild ripening period resulted in incredibly concentrated fruit. Vintage began a week earlier than last year, on February 8, and was in full swing by mid-February. The white vintage was all but finished a month later, with no signs of sunburn or drought-affected berries. The red harvest continued with deeply coloured, well-balanced grapes being picked during superb mild, dry conditions through to the third week of April. The signature varieties of Eden Valley, riesling and shiraz, once again produced exceptional quality with great acid balance.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The 2010 Adelaide Hills vintage received above average rainfall. A two-week heat wave experienced across South Australia in November had less impact on the vines in the Adelaide Hills, as it was less severe and occurred pre-flowering. Rain continued through until mid-summer and was recorded as one of the wettest seasons for many years. Like Eden Valley, the vintage in the Hills was a week earlier than last year. Powdery mildew was more prevalent due to the very humid conditions experienced throughout summer which was a good test for the organic/ biodynamic strategy! The earlier vintage without the extremes in temperature gave high quality fruit with great flavour and fine acids, but did affect the quantity with average yields.

The 2010 growing season was preceded by above average winter rainfall that built up moisture in the soil profile and provided water for the dams. Spring was mild with little frost damage and gave us an even budburst. The weather remained cold and wet through spring which held back growth until a two-week high 30s heat wave in November affected flowering and fruit set. Spring rains continued into early summer right through until mid-December, making it the wettest year since 2005. The vines responded to the heat and grew vigorously until early January, developing lush canopies, but bunch development suffered as a result. A roller-coaster-ride of heat spikes and cool changes continued through a warm summer with occasional thunderstorms. The vines continued to look very healthy and went through veraison a week earlier than in 2009.  Lower yields coupled with the mild ripening period resulted in incredibly concentrated fruit. Vintage began a week earlier than last year, on February 8, and was in full swing by mid-February. The white vintage was all but finished a month later, with no signs of sunburn or drought-affected berries. The red harvest continued with deeply coloured, well-balanced grapes being picked during superb mild, dry conditions through to the third week of April. The signature varieties of Eden Valley, riesling and shiraz, once again produced exceptional quality with great acid balance.

The 2010 Adelaide Hills vintage received above average rainfall. A two-week heat wave experienced across South Australia in November had less impact on the vines in the Adelaide Hills, as it was less severe and occurred pre-flowering. Rain continued through until mid-summer and was recorded as one of the wettest seasons for many years. Like Eden Valley, the vintage in the Hills was a week earlier than last year. Powdery mildew was more prevalent due to the very humid conditions experienced throughout summer which was a good test for the organic/ biodynamic strategy! The earlier vintage without the extremes in temperature gave high quality fruit with great flavour and fine acids, but did affect the quantity with average yields.

EDEN VALLEY

The 2009 vintage was preceded by another cold, drought winter, with 399mm rainfall in Eden Valley for the year (a good year would see 500mm). It was the coldest August since 1951. Spring had a few heat spikes up into the mid to high 30s, some frost damage in low-lying areas, but very little rain during September and October. In fact, it was the driest September for 30 years and the driest October on record. Staggered flowering resulted from cool weather which reduced the fruit set. Some varieties were also pruned back hard to just a few spurs to allow them to survive with no water. Rain arrived in mid-December with around 65mm recorded, making it the wettest month of the whole year. The cool southerlies continued through into the new year, reminiscent of 2005. December didn’t record any days over 32C. January tended warm to hot with a couple of heat spikes into the high 30s and low 40s. Late January brought a record six days over 40C, not seen since 1908, causing vine stress, exacerbated by drought conditions and empty dams, followed by another week of hot weather culminating in a 46C day on Black Saturday on February 7. Fortunately subsequent weather was mild and dry, with perfect ripening weather from March 1 moving into autumn mode. A strong change brought a general rain across the state with 10-20mm in early March, which helped with ripening and flavour development. The Indian summer in late March brought ripening forward with all the whites finished and in the winery by early April.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The rainfall was below average in the lead-up to the 2009 vintage in the Adelaide Hills. Spring was mild with rainfall periods in October and mid-December; however, overall it was one of driest starts to year since 1957. Fine flowering weather at the end of November allowed good flowering and average yields and the vines showed vigorous growth. A dry, early summer followed, which encouraged good growth and some restriction on berry and bunch size. Early January tended warm to hot, with a couple of heat spikes into the high 30s and low 40s including a peak on Black Saturday on February 7 when the temperature hit 46C. Subsequent weather was mild and dry and from March 1 moved into autumn mode, with perfect ripening weather. The natural advantage afforded by the Hills is the altitude (550m), which provides cooler growing conditions during summer and a greater day/night temperature differential for acid retention in the grapes and greater purity of fruit flavours. Careful hand-picking allowed selection of the best quality fruit with some excellent to exceptional wines, in particular sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot gris and chardonnay. It was a season that once again showed the advantages of organic and biodynamic viticulture.

The 2009 vintage was preceded by another cold, drought winter, with 399mm rainfall in Eden Valley for the year (a good year would see 500mm). It was the coldest August since 1951. Spring had a few heat spikes up into the mid to high 30s, some frost damage in low-lying areas, but very little rain during September and October. In fact, it was the driest September for 30 years and the driest October on record. Staggered flowering resulted from cool weather which reduced the fruit set. Some varieties were also pruned back hard to just a few spurs to allow them to survive with no water. Rain arrived in mid-December with around 65mm recorded, making it the wettest month of the whole year. The cool southerlies continued through into the new year, reminiscent of 2005. December didn’t record any days over 32C. January tended warm to hot with a couple of heat spikes into the high 30s and low 40s. Late January brought a record six days over 40C, not seen since 1908, causing vine stress, exacerbated by drought conditions and empty dams, followed by another week of hot weather culminating in a 46C day on Black Saturday on February 7. Fortunately subsequent weather was mild and dry, with perfect ripening weather from March 1 moving into autumn mode. A strong change brought a general rain across the state with 10-20mm in early March, which helped with ripening and flavour development. The Indian summer in late March brought ripening forward with all the whites finished and in the winery by early April.

The rainfall was below average in the lead-up to the 2009 vintage in the Adelaide Hills. Spring was mild with rainfall periods in October and mid-December; however, overall it was one of driest starts to year since 1957. Fine flowering weather at the end of November allowed good flowering and average yields and the vines showed vigorous growth. A dry, early summer followed, which encouraged good growth and some restriction on berry and bunch size. Early January tended warm to hot, with a couple of heat spikes into the high 30s and low 40s including a peak on Black Saturday on February 7 when the temperature hit 46C. Subsequent weather was mild and dry and from March 1 moved into autumn mode, with perfect ripening weather. The natural advantage afforded by the Hills is the altitude (550m), which provides cooler growing conditions during summer and a greater day/night temperature differential for acid retention in the grapes and greater purity of fruit flavours. Careful hand-picking allowed selection of the best quality fruit with some excellent to exceptional wines, in particular sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot gris and chardonnay. It was a season that once again showed the advantages of organic and biodynamic viticulture.

EDEN VALLEY

The 2008 vintage in Eden Valley was preceded by an average rainfall and a mild and unusually frost- free spring with regular rainfall periods. Fine flowering weather meant good set despite the expectation that the previous drought year of 2007 would affect yields. The vines also showed surprisingly vigorous growth. A dry and hotter than average early summer caused smaller berry and bunch size. Although temperatures climbed to over 40C around New Year and in mid-February, the weather from mid-January through February was the coolest for 30 years, allowing amazing development of fruit colour, flavour and maturity. One of the earliest harvests on record, which began early February, produced exceptional whites, in particular riesling.
In early March South Australia suffered an unprecedented record heat wave of 15 days over 35C. The unexpected searing heat seemed never-ending and resulted in stressed vines, significant leaf drop, escalating sugar levels in the fruit and significant shrivel. A cool change followed, which brought relief; however it was too late for fruit still hanging, which had literally cooked on the vine. Selective early morning handpicking, leaving shrivelled fruit on the vines, gave the best quality, resulting in some amazing intensely coloured and flavoured reds, in particular shiraz.
It was an easy season to practise organic viticulture and a season that demanded biodynamics to keep the vines healthy.

ADELAIDE HILLS

There was a below average winter rainfall lead-up to the 2008 vintage in the Adelaide Hills. Spring was mild with rainfall periods in October, early mid-November and mid- December. Fine flowering weather at the end of November allowed for good flowering and above average yields and the vines also showed vigorous growth. A dry and hotter than average early summer followed (November 2007 was the warmest for 25 years), which encouraged good growth and some restriction on berry and bunch size followed by hot summer temperatures around New Year. From mid-January through February mild temperatures and cold nights followed which ensured excellent development of fruit colour, flavour and balance of pH and acidity. It was the coolest February since 1978. Harvest began three weeks early at the end of February with the white varieties. However, in early March South Australia suffered an unprecedented record heat wave of 15 days over 35C. The unexpected continual heat seemed never-ending and resulted in some varieties suffering leaf drop, escalating sugar levels in the fruit and some shrivel. Although the heat had a marked effect in the Adelaide Hills it was not as bad as in the other regions of South Australia. The natural advantage afforded by the Hills is the altitude (600m), which provides cooler growing conditions during summer and a greater day/night temperature differential for acid retention in the grapes and greater purity of fruit flavours. The cool change which followed brought welcome relief, however some fruit was adversely affected. Careful handpicking allowed selection of the best quality fruit producing some excellent to exceptional wines, in particular sauvignon blanc and riesling. It was an ideal season to practise organic viticulture and a season that demanded biodynamics to keep the vines healthy.

The 2008 vintage in Eden Valley was preceded by an average rainfall and a mild and unusually frost- free spring with regular rainfall periods. Fine flowering weather meant good set despite the expectation that the previous drought year of 2007 would affect yields. The vines also showed surprisingly vigorous growth. A dry and hotter than average early summer caused smaller berry and bunch size. Although temperatures climbed to over 40C around New Year and in mid-February, the weather from mid-January through February was the coolest for 30 years, allowing amazing development of fruit colour, flavour and maturity. One of the earliest harvests on record, which began early February, produced exceptional whites, in particular riesling.
In early March South Australia suffered an unprecedented record heat wave of 15 days over 35C. The unexpected searing heat seemed never-ending and resulted in stressed vines, significant leaf drop, escalating sugar levels in the fruit and significant shrivel. A cool change followed, which brought relief; however it was too late for fruit still hanging, which had literally cooked on the vine. Selective early morning handpicking, leaving shrivelled fruit on the vines, gave the best quality, resulting in some amazing intensely coloured and flavoured reds, in particular shiraz.
It was an easy season to practise organic viticulture and a season that demanded biodynamics to keep the vines healthy.

There was a below average winter rainfall lead-up to the 2008 vintage in the Adelaide Hills. Spring was mild with rainfall periods in October, early mid-November and mid- December. Fine flowering weather at the end of November allowed for good flowering and above average yields and the vines also showed vigorous growth. A dry and hotter than average early summer followed (November 2007 was the warmest for 25 years), which encouraged good growth and some restriction on berry and bunch size followed by hot summer temperatures around New Year. From mid-January through February mild temperatures and cold nights followed which ensured excellent development of fruit colour, flavour and balance of pH and acidity. It was the coolest February since 1978. Harvest began three weeks early at the end of February with the white varieties. However, in early March South Australia suffered an unprecedented record heat wave of 15 days over 35C. The unexpected continual heat seemed never-ending and resulted in some varieties suffering leaf drop, escalating sugar levels in the fruit and some shrivel. Although the heat had a marked effect in the Adelaide Hills it was not as bad as in the other regions of South Australia. The natural advantage afforded by the Hills is the altitude (600m), which provides cooler growing conditions during summer and a greater day/night temperature differential for acid retention in the grapes and greater purity of fruit flavours. The cool change which followed brought welcome relief, however some fruit was adversely affected. Careful handpicking allowed selection of the best quality fruit producing some excellent to exceptional wines, in particular sauvignon blanc and riesling. It was an ideal season to practise organic viticulture and a season that demanded biodynamics to keep the vines healthy.

EDEN VALLEY

The 2007 vintage has shaped up to be another high quality year but with significantly reduced yields in Eden Valley and average yields in the Adelaide Hills. The highly publicised drought of 2006 has been reported as the worst ever. Certainly the rainfall at Eden Valley for the three months of winter at only 90mm compared to the average of 200mm was one of our driest.

Despite an early winter break, rainfall during winter and spring was the worst for years in the lead-up to flowering. There was significant spring frost damage in Eden Valley, with a yield loss of 20 to 25 per cent, compounded by the drought and lack of subsoil moisture with overall losses of up to 50 per cent expected.

Brief heat waves occurred during January; otherwise it was mild and dry. At the end of January a tropical air mass connected with a cold front to bring good rains to the agricultural areas of South Australia, with flooding up north. The 70mm rainfall fell steadily over four days, coinciding with veraison, which freshened up the vine canopy to assist with ripening the fruit for harvest. February has been recorded as the hottest for 100 years, bringing the already reduced crop to an earlier ripening phase.

The vintage began three to four weeks early, one of the earliest on record, remaining dry and mild allowing for good maturity. All the whites were picked by the end of March and the reds by the third week in April, a record early finish. In summary, a vintage with low yields but very good quality.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The 2007 vintage, surprisingly, resulted in excellent quality wines and average yields being obtained from the Adelaide Hills. The highly publicised drought of 2006 had been reported as the worst ever. Our Lenswood vineyard in the Adelaide Hills received only half its annual rainfall and was one of our driest seasons.Despite an early winter break, rainfall during winter and spring was the worst for years in the lead-up to flowering. There was no spring frost damage at Lenswood due to the steep terrain but there was a lack of subsoil moisture due to the drought which helped control yields.Brief heat waves occurred during January; otherwise it was mild and dry. At the end of January a tropical air mass connected with a cold front to bring good rains to the agricultural areas of South Australia, with flooding up north. The rainfall fell steadily over four days, coinciding with veraison, which freshened up the vine canopy to assist with ripening the fruit for harvest. February was recorded as the hottest for 100 years, bringing the harvest forward. The vintage began three to four weeks early, one of the earliest on record, remaining dry and mild allowing for good maturity. The whites were picked by March 20 and the reds by April 18, a record early finish. In summary, a warmer and drier ‘Eden Valley-like’ vintage with good average yields and excellent quality.

The 2007 vintage has shaped up to be another high quality year but with significantly reduced yields in Eden Valley and average yields in the Adelaide Hills. The highly publicised drought of 2006 has been reported as the worst ever. Certainly the rainfall at Eden Valley for the three months of winter at only 90mm compared to the average of 200mm was one of our driest.

Despite an early winter break, rainfall during winter and spring was the worst for years in the lead-up to flowering. There was significant spring frost damage in Eden Valley, with a yield loss of 20 to 25 per cent, compounded by the drought and lack of subsoil moisture with overall losses of up to 50 per cent expected.

Brief heat waves occurred during January; otherwise it was mild and dry. At the end of January a tropical air mass connected with a cold front to bring good rains to the agricultural areas of South Australia, with flooding up north. The 70mm rainfall fell steadily over four days, coinciding with veraison, which freshened up the vine canopy to assist with ripening the fruit for harvest. February has been recorded as the hottest for 100 years, bringing the already reduced crop to an earlier ripening phase.

The vintage began three to four weeks early, one of the earliest on record, remaining dry and mild allowing for good maturity. All the whites were picked by the end of March and the reds by the third week in April, a record early finish. In summary, a vintage with low yields but very good quality.

The 2007 vintage, surprisingly, resulted in excellent quality wines and average yields being obtained from the Adelaide Hills. The highly publicised drought of 2006 had been reported as the worst ever. Our Lenswood vineyard in the Adelaide Hills received only half its annual rainfall and was one of our driest seasons.Despite an early winter break, rainfall during winter and spring was the worst for years in the lead-up to flowering. There was no spring frost damage at Lenswood due to the steep terrain but there was a lack of subsoil moisture due to the drought which helped control yields.Brief heat waves occurred during January; otherwise it was mild and dry. At the end of January a tropical air mass connected with a cold front to bring good rains to the agricultural areas of South Australia, with flooding up north. The rainfall fell steadily over four days, coinciding with veraison, which freshened up the vine canopy to assist with ripening the fruit for harvest. February was recorded as the hottest for 100 years, bringing the harvest forward. The vintage began three to four weeks early, one of the earliest on record, remaining dry and mild allowing for good maturity. The whites were picked by March 20 and the reds by April 18, a record early finish. In summary, a warmer and drier ‘Eden Valley-like’ vintage with good average yields and excellent quality.

EDEN VALLEY

The 2006 vintage shaped up as another high quality year but with only average
yields in Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills. After a late break in mid-June last year, winter and spring rains were some of the best for years in the lead-up to flowering in early summer. Some varieties, such as riesling and shiraz, suffered more than others from poor set, leading to ‘hen and chicken’. While there was some damage in Eden Valley from frost, this had only a minor impact on the overall yield; however, yields in most varieties have shown to be down by 15-20%.

Although there was virtually no rain after Christmas, the summer was mild with southerly winds, reminiscent of 2002. The vines were vigorous and lush at first but slowly underwent mild stress during berry development, helping to keep the berry size small. Brief heat waves occurred in late January and mid-February but were early enough not to affect quality, with only minor sunburn on exposed fruit.

The early ripening of the whites led to an early vintage. Whites were nearly all picked by the end of March with very little red fruit harvested, an unusual situation. After a warmer than usual spell in late March, a significant and unseasonal torrential rainfall event of 50mm occurred on Sunday 26 March delaying harvest and causing concern with split and botrytis. With the weather fining up again, picking continued with shiraz from Hill of Grace, Mount Edelstone and Eden Valley and pinot noir from Lenswood. The quality was fine, floral wines and we look forward to seeing what wonderful wines will develop. Further rain and wintry weather after Easter delayed harvest of the late-ripening varieties such as merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon and promoted unwanted opportunistic fungal and botrytis development. With no warm or dry weather in sight, the last of the bedraggled Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot was picked, between showers, in early May.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The 2006 vintage shaped up as another high quality year but with only average yields in the Adelaide Hills. After a late break in mid-June of last year, winter and spring rains were some of the best for years in the lead-up to flowering in early summer. Some varieties suffered from poor set, leading to ‘hen and chicken’. Although there was virtually no rain after Christmas, the summer was mild with southerly winds, reminiscent of 2002. The vines were vigorous and lush at first but slowly underwent mild stress during berry development, helping to keep the berry size small, an important factor for red wine quality. Brief heat waves occurred in late January and mid-February but were early enough not to affect quality.

The vintage was one of the earliest on record; whites were nearly all picked by the end of March. After a warmer than usual spell in late March, a significant and unseasonal torrential rainfall event of 50mm occurred on Sunday 26 March delaying harvest and causing concern with split and botrytis. With the weather fining up again, picking continued with our pinot noir from Lenswood. The quality was fabulous. Further rain and wintry weather after Easter delayed harvest of the late-ripening varieties such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon and promoted unwanted opportunistic fungal and botrytis development. With no warm or dry weather in sight, the last of the bedraggled Lenswood merlot and cabernet was picked, between showers, in early May.

The 2006 vintage shaped up as another high quality year but with only average
yields in Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills. After a late break in mid-June last year, winter and spring rains were some of the best for years in the lead-up to flowering in early summer. Some varieties, such as riesling and shiraz, suffered more than others from poor set, leading to ‘hen and chicken’. While there was some damage in Eden Valley from frost, this had only a minor impact on the overall yield; however, yields in most varieties have shown to be down by 15-20%.

Although there was virtually no rain after Christmas, the summer was mild with southerly winds, reminiscent of 2002. The vines were vigorous and lush at first but slowly underwent mild stress during berry development, helping to keep the berry size small. Brief heat waves occurred in late January and mid-February but were early enough not to affect quality, with only minor sunburn on exposed fruit.

The early ripening of the whites led to an early vintage. Whites were nearly all picked by the end of March with very little red fruit harvested, an unusual situation. After a warmer than usual spell in late March, a significant and unseasonal torrential rainfall event of 50mm occurred on Sunday 26 March delaying harvest and causing concern with split and botrytis. With the weather fining up again, picking continued with shiraz from Hill of Grace, Mount Edelstone and Eden Valley and pinot noir from Lenswood. The quality was fine, floral wines and we look forward to seeing what wonderful wines will develop. Further rain and wintry weather after Easter delayed harvest of the late-ripening varieties such as merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon and promoted unwanted opportunistic fungal and botrytis development. With no warm or dry weather in sight, the last of the bedraggled Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot was picked, between showers, in early May.

The 2006 vintage shaped up as another high quality year but with only average yields in the Adelaide Hills. After a late break in mid-June of last year, winter and spring rains were some of the best for years in the lead-up to flowering in early summer. Some varieties suffered from poor set, leading to ‘hen and chicken’. Although there was virtually no rain after Christmas, the summer was mild with southerly winds, reminiscent of 2002. The vines were vigorous and lush at first but slowly underwent mild stress during berry development, helping to keep the berry size small, an important factor for red wine quality. Brief heat waves occurred in late January and mid-February but were early enough not to affect quality.

The vintage was one of the earliest on record; whites were nearly all picked by the end of March. After a warmer than usual spell in late March, a significant and unseasonal torrential rainfall event of 50mm occurred on Sunday 26 March delaying harvest and causing concern with split and botrytis. With the weather fining up again, picking continued with our pinot noir from Lenswood. The quality was fabulous. Further rain and wintry weather after Easter delayed harvest of the late-ripening varieties such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon and promoted unwanted opportunistic fungal and botrytis development. With no warm or dry weather in sight, the last of the bedraggled Lenswood merlot and cabernet was picked, between showers, in early May.

EDEN VALLEY

Vintage 2005 was early, warm, quick – fantastic quality with good yields – and exhausting.

Above average winter rains led into a beautiful spring, with some early November frosts but good flowering weather in late November and early December. Summer was wet and wild, with an amazing roller-coaster of weekly thunderstorms that helped maintain good subsoil moisture. Rains in January were followed by a dry February, and the dry weather continued right through the autumn. Warmer than usual autumnal weather caused an early, compact harvest of above average yields. The late Indian summer lasted into May, well after all the fruit was harvested with colour, flavour and maturity figures not seen since the 2002 vintage.

The quality of the 2005 vintage is sure to be ranked as one of the best on record, after 2002, with all varieties showing strongly. Once again the signature varieties for Eden Valley, ie, riesling and shiraz, performed brilliantly.

ADELAIDE HILLS

Vintage 2005 was early with exceptional quality and good yields.Above average winter rains led into a beautiful spring, with some early November frosts but good flowering weather in late November and early December. Summer was wet and wild, with an amazing roller-coaster of weekly thunderstorms that helped maintain good subsoil moisture. Rains in January were followed by a dry February, and the dry weather continued right through the autumn. Warmer than usual autumnal weather caused an early, compact harvest of above average yields. The late Indian summer lasted into May, well after all the fruit was harvested with colour, flavour and maturity figures not seen before the 2002 vintage.The quality of the 2005 vintage is sure to be ranked as one of the best on record, after 2002, with all varieties showing strongly. The signature varieties for Adelaide Hills, ie, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, performed brilliantly.

Vintage 2005 was early, warm, quick – fantastic quality with good yields – and exhausting.

Above average winter rains led into a beautiful spring, with some early November frosts but good flowering weather in late November and early December. Summer was wet and wild, with an amazing roller-coaster of weekly thunderstorms that helped maintain good subsoil moisture. Rains in January were followed by a dry February, and the dry weather continued right through the autumn. Warmer than usual autumnal weather caused an early, compact harvest of above average yields. The late Indian summer lasted into May, well after all the fruit was harvested with colour, flavour and maturity figures not seen since the 2002 vintage.

The quality of the 2005 vintage is sure to be ranked as one of the best on record, after 2002, with all varieties showing strongly. Once again the signature varieties for Eden Valley, ie, riesling and shiraz, performed brilliantly.

Vintage 2005 was early with exceptional quality and good yields.Above average winter rains led into a beautiful spring, with some early November frosts but good flowering weather in late November and early December. Summer was wet and wild, with an amazing roller-coaster of weekly thunderstorms that helped maintain good subsoil moisture. Rains in January were followed by a dry February, and the dry weather continued right through the autumn. Warmer than usual autumnal weather caused an early, compact harvest of above average yields. The late Indian summer lasted into May, well after all the fruit was harvested with colour, flavour and maturity figures not seen before the 2002 vintage.The quality of the 2005 vintage is sure to be ranked as one of the best on record, after 2002, with all varieties showing strongly. The signature varieties for Adelaide Hills, ie, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, performed brilliantly.

EDEN VALLEY

The average winter rainfall this season was a welcome relief after 2003’s fourth-worst drought in history. The soil profile was filled at last, as were most growers’ dams. A relatively frost-free, wet, warm and thundery spring followed, which created a natural ‘greenhouse’ effect for the vines. They grew vigorously, flowered and in general set a large crop.December was the hottest for 10 years, however at the start of 2004 the weather became mild and windy, tempered by the cool southerlies off the ocean. The month of January was the coolest since 1992 and the vines thrived with virtually no heat stress.Since the start of February, traditionally the hottest month, everyone’s worst fears were realised, with searing heat causing sunburn and significant crop losses. New records were broken with South Australia experiencing its hottest day ever. Fortunately March returned the region to glorious sunny days and cold dewy nights, with a couple of minor rain events, allowing the fruit to ripen under perfect conditions.The vintage was almost as late as 2002. Where crop thinning was done, the season produced excellent wines with a seamless elegance.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The average winter rainfall this season was a welcome relief after 2003’s fourth-worst drought in history. The soil profile was filled at last, as were most growers’ dams. A wet, warm and thundery spring followed, which created a natural ‘greenhouse’ effect for the vines. They grew vigorously, flowered and in general set a large crop. December was the hottest for 10 years, however at the start of 2004 the weather became mild and windy, tempered by the cool southerlies off the ocean. The month of January was the coolest since 1992 and the vines thrived. New records were broken during February with South Australia experiencing its hottest day ever. Fortunately March returned the region to glorious sunny days and cold dewy nights, with a couple of minor rain events, allowing the fruit to ripen under perfect conditions.

The average winter rainfall this season was a welcome relief after 2003’s fourth-worst drought in history. The soil profile was filled at last, as were most growers’ dams. A relatively frost-free, wet, warm and thundery spring followed, which created a natural ‘greenhouse’ effect for the vines. They grew vigorously, flowered and in general set a large crop.December was the hottest for 10 years, however at the start of 2004 the weather became mild and windy, tempered by the cool southerlies off the ocean. The month of January was the coolest since 1992 and the vines thrived with virtually no heat stress.Since the start of February, traditionally the hottest month, everyone’s worst fears were realised, with searing heat causing sunburn and significant crop losses. New records were broken with South Australia experiencing its hottest day ever. Fortunately March returned the region to glorious sunny days and cold dewy nights, with a couple of minor rain events, allowing the fruit to ripen under perfect conditions.The vintage was almost as late as 2002. Where crop thinning was done, the season produced excellent wines with a seamless elegance.

The average winter rainfall this season was a welcome relief after 2003’s fourth-worst drought in history. The soil profile was filled at last, as were most growers’ dams. A wet, warm and thundery spring followed, which created a natural ‘greenhouse’ effect for the vines. They grew vigorously, flowered and in general set a large crop. December was the hottest for 10 years, however at the start of 2004 the weather became mild and windy, tempered by the cool southerlies off the ocean. The month of January was the coolest since 1992 and the vines thrived. New records were broken during February with South Australia experiencing its hottest day ever. Fortunately March returned the region to glorious sunny days and cold dewy nights, with a couple of minor rain events, allowing the fruit to ripen under perfect conditions.

EDEN VALLEY

2003 was one of the worst droughts in history, with rainfall at only 70% of the previous year. This left the soil moisture profiles and dams lower than at the start of winter. Spring was frosty and windy, but not overly wet. The frosts in October were bad news for many, although the rains were at least strategic, which resulted in better fruit set than last year. The hot, dry and windy weather during summer has stressed the vines severely, which has resulted in smaller berries and a reduced crop. This season has often been likened to 1983, which is obviously remembered more for the horrors of Ash Wednesday and the Barossa flood than the drought.

The vines looked surprisingly good for the dry season, however the crops were light, except for riesling. The ancient dry-grown vines groaned as they searched deep with their old gnarled roots for any faint sniff of moisture. Even those growers who had been able to use some water couldn’t reverse the drought. Growers were talking about a crop reduction of up to 30%, but it was far worse. Then just as the vines were succumbing to the hot, dry conditions, the heavens opened. Not just a sprinkle, but serious rain of around 75mm over 24 hours, enough to split the grapes and cause even more grief for the long-suffering grower. The country turned green overnight and the split grapes shrivelled up. In the final wash-up the damage wasn’t that bad, although the old dry-grown shiraz suffered the worst, leaving virtually nothing on the vines. Mount Edelstone was one example. The vineyard was half-picked at 5 tonnes, where in a normal year we would get 80 tonnes!

This year must surely go down on record as being one of our hottest, driest and windiest summers leading to a smaller vintage of potentially very good quality. The small crop was a blessing in disguise, too, with the impending grape and wine glut looming closer. Timing of the harvest was similar to 2001, due to the heat and lack of subsoil moisture. Another vintage for the record books!

ADELAIDE HILLS

2003 was one of the worst droughts in history, with rainfall at only 70% of the previous year. This left the soil moisture profiles and dams lower than at the start of winter. Spring was frosty and windy, but not overly wet. The hot, dry and windy weather during summer caused some stress, which resulted in smaller berries and a reduced crop. This season has often been likened to 1983, which is obviously remembered more for the horrors of Ash Wednesday than the drought. Then as the vines struggled with the hot, dry conditions, the heavens opened. Not just a sprinkle, a serious rain event of around 75mm over 24 hours causing some split fruit. The country turned green overnight and the split grapes shrivelled up. This year must surely go down on record as being one of our hottest, driest and windiest summers leading to a smaller vintage of very good quality. Another vintage for the record books!

2003 was one of the worst droughts in history, with rainfall at only 70% of the previous year. This left the soil moisture profiles and dams lower than at the start of winter. Spring was frosty and windy, but not overly wet. The frosts in October were bad news for many, although the rains were at least strategic, which resulted in better fruit set than last year. The hot, dry and windy weather during summer has stressed the vines severely, which has resulted in smaller berries and a reduced crop. This season has often been likened to 1983, which is obviously remembered more for the horrors of Ash Wednesday and the Barossa flood than the drought.

The vines looked surprisingly good for the dry season, however the crops were light, except for riesling. The ancient dry-grown vines groaned as they searched deep with their old gnarled roots for any faint sniff of moisture. Even those growers who had been able to use some water couldn’t reverse the drought. Growers were talking about a crop reduction of up to 30%, but it was far worse. Then just as the vines were succumbing to the hot, dry conditions, the heavens opened. Not just a sprinkle, but serious rain of around 75mm over 24 hours, enough to split the grapes and cause even more grief for the long-suffering grower. The country turned green overnight and the split grapes shrivelled up. In the final wash-up the damage wasn’t that bad, although the old dry-grown shiraz suffered the worst, leaving virtually nothing on the vines. Mount Edelstone was one example. The vineyard was half-picked at 5 tonnes, where in a normal year we would get 80 tonnes!

This year must surely go down on record as being one of our hottest, driest and windiest summers leading to a smaller vintage of potentially very good quality. The small crop was a blessing in disguise, too, with the impending grape and wine glut looming closer. Timing of the harvest was similar to 2001, due to the heat and lack of subsoil moisture. Another vintage for the record books!

2003 was one of the worst droughts in history, with rainfall at only 70% of the previous year. This left the soil moisture profiles and dams lower than at the start of winter. Spring was frosty and windy, but not overly wet. The hot, dry and windy weather during summer caused some stress, which resulted in smaller berries and a reduced crop. This season has often been likened to 1983, which is obviously remembered more for the horrors of Ash Wednesday than the drought. Then as the vines struggled with the hot, dry conditions, the heavens opened. Not just a sprinkle, a serious rain event of around 75mm over 24 hours causing some split fruit. The country turned green overnight and the split grapes shrivelled up. This year must surely go down on record as being one of our hottest, driest and windiest summers leading to a smaller vintage of very good quality. Another vintage for the record books!

EDEN VALLEY

The year 2002 goes down as being the coolest, windiest ‘non-summer’ on record, following on from our hottest summer on record in 2001. It was preceded by a wet winter and a spring that was cold, wet and windy – like winter really. The drizzly cold weather affected the flowering and caused poor fruit set, commonly known as ‘hen and chicken’, leading to very little fruit. In particular riesling and shiraz, Eden Valley signature varieties, were the worst affected with crop reductions leaving us with less than 20% in some varieties. In addition the season was 2-3 weeks late due to the unseasonable cold weather. With the smaller crop level, the balance of sugar, flavour and natural acidity in the fruit were excellent. Despite the pitiful crop, 2002 was one of our most exceptional vintages ever, helped by the warm dry Indian summer autumn period, providing sensational colours, flavours and ageing potential.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The year 2002 goes down as being the coolest, windiest ‘non-summer’ on record, following on from our hottest summer on record in 2001. It was preceded by a wet winter and a spring that was cold, wet and windy. The drizzly cold weather affected the flowering and caused poor fruit set, commonly known as ‘hen and chicken’, leading to a reduced yield. The season was two to three weeks late due to the unseasonable cold weather. With the smaller crop level, the balance of sugar, flavour and natural acidity in the fruit were excellent. Despite the smaller crop 2002 was one of our most exceptional vintages ever, helped by the warm dry Indian summer autumn period, providing sensational colours, flavours and ageing potential.

The year 2002 goes down as being the coolest, windiest ‘non-summer’ on record, following on from our hottest summer on record in 2001. It was preceded by a wet winter and a spring that was cold, wet and windy – like winter really. The drizzly cold weather affected the flowering and caused poor fruit set, commonly known as ‘hen and chicken’, leading to very little fruit. In particular riesling and shiraz, Eden Valley signature varieties, were the worst affected with crop reductions leaving us with less than 20% in some varieties. In addition the season was 2-3 weeks late due to the unseasonable cold weather. With the smaller crop level, the balance of sugar, flavour and natural acidity in the fruit were excellent. Despite the pitiful crop, 2002 was one of our most exceptional vintages ever, helped by the warm dry Indian summer autumn period, providing sensational colours, flavours and ageing potential.

The year 2002 goes down as being the coolest, windiest ‘non-summer’ on record, following on from our hottest summer on record in 2001. It was preceded by a wet winter and a spring that was cold, wet and windy. The drizzly cold weather affected the flowering and caused poor fruit set, commonly known as ‘hen and chicken’, leading to a reduced yield. The season was two to three weeks late due to the unseasonable cold weather. With the smaller crop level, the balance of sugar, flavour and natural acidity in the fruit were excellent. Despite the smaller crop 2002 was one of our most exceptional vintages ever, helped by the warm dry Indian summer autumn period, providing sensational colours, flavours and ageing potential.

EDEN VALLEY

The season began with good winter and spring rains, although there were some isolated black frost pockets in October. Good set at flowering continued on to one of our hottest summers on record. Occasional timely thunderstorms arrived to maintain the humidity with a few millimetres of wonderful rain. Vintage began two to three weeks early but the heat had the potential to reduce flavours and produce high pHs and frighteningly low acids. With the arrival of milder autumnal weather came a natural rebalancing, providing only average yields but excellent whites and exceptional reds.

ADELAIDE HILLS

The season began with good winter and spring rains. Good set at flowering continued on to one of our hottest summers on record. Occasional timely thunderstorms arrived to maintain the humidity with a few millimetres of wonderful rain. Vintage began two to three weeks early. The arrival of milder autumnal weather provided average yields and excellent wine quality. The year particularly highlights the tenacity of riesling in the hills.

The season began with good winter and spring rains, although there were some isolated black frost pockets in October. Good set at flowering continued on to one of our hottest summers on record. Occasional timely thunderstorms arrived to maintain the humidity with a few millimetres of wonderful rain. Vintage began two to three weeks early but the heat had the potential to reduce flavours and produce high pHs and frighteningly low acids. With the arrival of milder autumnal weather came a natural rebalancing, providing only average yields but excellent whites and exceptional reds.

The season began with good winter and spring rains. Good set at flowering continued on to one of our hottest summers on record. Occasional timely thunderstorms arrived to maintain the humidity with a few millimetres of wonderful rain. Vintage began two to three weeks early. The arrival of milder autumnal weather provided average yields and excellent wine quality. The year particularly highlights the tenacity of riesling in the hills.