Sunday, March 25, 2007

This week: 23rd. March.

Weather Report Week Ending 23/3/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 33.0C (91F) on Fri.
Minimum Temperature for the week 10.6C (51F) on Sat.
Rainfall for the Week 16.2mm (46 points) 4 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

Generally below average temperatures this week but with two hot days. The rain started with 15mm on Tue. then very small gaugings for the remainder of the week.

This week in the vineyard:
We only picked the last of our Cabernet this week (for Peter Lehmann wines), but we will be finishing our 2007 harvest this coming week. The rain we had is a fantastic break to the season for us (assuming we now get follow up rain). It will not affect the Grenache we still have hanging as this is due to be picked this coming week.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

This week: 16th. March.

Weather Report Week Ending 16/3/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 36.3C (97F) on Sat.
Minimum Temperature for the week 9.2C (49F) on Tue.
Rainfall for the Week 0.0mm (0 points) 0 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

Two very hot days this week, but most of the rest of the week has been very nice.

This week in the vineyard:
We have now finished the last of our Shiraz. The last 2 blocks went to Barossa Valley Estate on Wednesday. We still have Cabernet and Grenache to pick, the Cabernet is due to come off on Monday morning. I am now beginning to think about how we will manage our vineyard over the next 12 months, normally we will put a winter cereal crop in to be mowed and used as a source of organic carbon and mulch. This coming year we look like having very little good quality irrigation water available to us, so I am seriously thinking about conserving as much available soil moisture as I can by not planting a cover crop at all. This will have implications as to what (if any) cultivation we do in the next month or so. Today's photo is of a bunch of Cabernet that will be picked in the next 24 hours.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mad Dog Sangiovese

Mad Dog wines announces the release of our 2006 Sangiovese. This very limited release is from a small trial planting of 250 vines we have had growing on our property for 10 years. This is the first commercial release of this fruit. We have shoot thinned and bunch thinned this block by hand to get the best wine possible. We are very pleased with the way it has turned out. Our wine making team says:

We affectionately call this wine MAD DOCG (with a silencio ‘C’) after the great savoury reds of Tuscany. It is made from Mad Dog’s 10 year old Valley floor Sangiovese, with yields restricted to well under 2 tonnes. The spice laden, wild cherry fruit character overlays a canvas of well seasoned, top notch French Oak. Should age well over the mid-term but we suggest you catch it while it’s showing all its youthful exuberance.

Because we only have a very limited quantity of this wine, if you would like to get hold of some, please, drop me an email (Kammunz(at) letting me know where you are and I'll let you know how you can get hold of some.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

This week: 9th. March.

Weather Report Week Ending 9/3/07

Maximum Temperature for the week 30.8C (87F) on Fri.
Minimum Temperature for the week 7.5C (45F) on Wed.
Rainfall for the Week 0.0mm (0 points) 0 days of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

A much cooler week this week. As I said last week it is beginning to feel like Autumn here in the Barossa. We have not finished with the hot weather yet, another couple of hot days are forecast for us in the next few days. However we are now starting to get much cooler night time temperatures.

This week in the vineyard:
With the cooler weather we have seen a significant reduction in the pace of sugar accumulation in our grapes. In fact the baumes in some blocks have hardly moved in the last 2 weeks. As a result we have not had much picking to do this week. We picked our Cabernet block for Yalumba and Shiraz and Sangiovese for Mad Dog this week. Because of the very low yields we are getting this year, the 2007 Mad Dog will be even harder to get hold of than it usually is. We only picked 3 tonnes of Shiraz (about 50% of what we normally do) and our Sangiovese trial (250 vines) only yielded 480kg, compared to 1 1/2 tonnes last year. The Sangiovese will make a very interesting wine this vintage, it did not grow at all like Sangiovese normally grows. It usually makes large tightly packed bunches with quite large berries - this year we have very small berries (good skin to volume ratios - so should be good colour) with open, fairly small loosely packed bunches and much lower yields per vine than normal. We are getting very close to the end of our vintage now with about 90% of our harvest finished. In fact the only block we have still to be booked is our Grenache, hopefully I will be given a pick on that this coming week. It looks like we will be finished picking everything in about 2 more weeks. This week's picture is of a bunch of Grenache waiting to be ripe enough to be picked.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

This week: 2nd. March.

Weather Report Week Ending 2/3/07
Maximum Temperature for the week 37.9C (100F) on Fri.
Minimum Temperature for the week 10.9C (51F) on Tue.
Rainfall for the Week 0.2mm (1 point) 1 day of rain.
Weather data thanks to BOM & Nuriootpa Viticulture Research Centre.

Still a very warm week this week - although some of the mornings are now starting to feel a little more Autumnal. As I reported in my post 'New Weather Record for the Barossa' we set a new record for average max. temperatures last month, this month has also started off well above average. The little bit of rain we recorded was more of a heavy dew and did not effect our vineyard at all.

This week in the vineyard:
This week we have been picking Shiraz and Merlot. We have now finished all of our Merlot, we have just one session of harvesting to go, then we will be finished all of our Shiraz (our largest variety). We now only have a few odds and ends left to pick and we will be finished. I would say another 2-3 weeks will see us all done, we will be finished well before Easter this year (we usually finish harvest around Easter, but usually still have something to pick after it). It has been a very disappointing vintage (from a grapegrowing perspective). It seems most grapegrowing areas in Australia have suffered significant reductions in yield, only Western Australia appear to be having a good season. I heard a forecast today for the national crush of between 1 and 1.2 million tonnes of grapes this year (compares to nearly 2 million tonnes for the last two vintages). Today's picture is of sunset over one of our Shiraz blocks that is due to be picked this coming week.

Friday, March 02, 2007

New Weather Record for the Barossa

The Barossa Valley has just experienced it's hottest February since records began. Our average max. temp. for February is 29.7C - this year our average was 32.4C, this is 2.7C above normal. We had 20 days above the average (29.7C) and only 8 below. We recorded one day of above 40C and 9 days above 35C.

It is little wonder that our vintage is running up to 4 weeks early. I wonder if this is more evidence of global warming? One month or one years data is hardly conclusive evidence, however I do find it interesting that most of our temperature records (both high and low) have been set in the last 10 years (I have over 50 years of reliable records available to me).