Eden Valley – 2007
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.