Since when was the sub tropics moved to southern Victoria? The cool, elevated Macedon ranges felt like central Victoria for a decade and now we feel like grape growers in Byron Bay. Without the beach, sadly.

Dams that did not fill for a decade have continually overflowed from December to now. Long term, great for the landscape. Short term, a lot of focus on the vineyard with tractor work, shoot removal, fruit dropping, trimming and broken sleep wondering what the rain and humidity is doing to the canopy.

So far the vineyard is healthy and fruit is clean. We will see. The first veraising berry was seen yesterday so we are still 10 days away from getting right into the colour change and sugar accumulation phase. After that we will need around six weeks to achieve ripeness. It looks to be a long, humid, frustrating push to harvest. We will delay putting the bird nets on as long as possible so we can continue to work on the canopy. I was speaking with Stuart Anderson last week and asked if he’d ever seen a season like this in his 50 years of wine life. “Never’ was the response. Sure, summer rain events and thunderstorms had highlighted some growing seasons but never the continual humidity and frequency of tropical weather being pushed south.

On a joyous note, we bottled the Composition Chardonnay, Composition Pinot Noir and Pyrette Shiraz from 2010 last Sunday and they are all looking to be of excellent quality. Sure, they now need several months to settle but the harmony and depth of the vintage is very pleasing and come release time in June they will be opening up again. The Quartz, Original Vineyard and Block 5 will be bottled in June and they have wonderful depth and structure.