The summer period leading up to vintage in mid-March 2009 was a challenging one. The preceding spring was one of the driest to date. In early summer temperatures were mild, however, by the end of January consistently high temperatures and strong hot winds culminated in the Black Saturday bushfires on 7 February. Throughout this period, the vineyard was irrigated carefully as the extreme weather conditions had stressed the vines which were beginning to lose their leaves. This delayed the onset of vintage.
With cooler conditions in late February and early March and with a lot of care and attention, the vines began to recover nicely and achieved a good level of ripeness. We commenced picking the Shiraz and Viognier in mid-March, with the Sangiovese following in late March and early April. Vintage drew to an end with the harvesting of the Nebbiolo in late April.
As expected in such a year, yields were reduced. The decreased yields worked in our favour - Sangiovese was very good, displaying excellent fruit balance and typical Sangiovese characters.
2009 was the first year a Viognier was made and the results were wonderful. In previous vintages, all the Viognier fruit has been blended with the Shiraz to make the Vinea Marson Syrah.