Adelaide Hills – 2011

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.