Adelaide Hills – 2004
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.