With plenty of water in the ground during spring, aided along by a couple of hundred millimetres of rain, our vines have grown quickly showing strong healthy green shoots and leaves. Both humans and plants enjoyed the mild spring and early summer weather, with barely a hot day to be seen until January when we were reminded that summer can be hot!
Flowering was very quick, and the ensuing berry development went without much of a hitch, except for a wettish period in November which added a bit of fungal pressure in some vineyards, particularly down on the Bellarine. However windy, drier Moorabool Valley, luckily saw off the risk of disease.
Here at Austins, crop loads were at best moderate this year and combined with long sunny, warm to very warm days, and barely any rain during the rest of summer, saw an early start to vintage proceedings.
Ripening didn’t let up, so we have been busy in the winery bringing in the harvest as quickly as we could and before you knew it we were just about finished by the middle of March… which is early indeed.
However, there are no complaints about the overall quality, clean, healthy looking fruit with spot-on flavours. Our Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling all showed beautiful varietal flavour, good acidity, moderate to fairly-ripe sugar levels and the resultant wines all now safely stored away are all looking very promising.
Some pictures from Vintage 18