Adelaide Hills – 2003

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!