Adelaide Hills – 2009

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.