In The Clare Valley - This year the region celebrates the 21st birthday of the screw cap closure, an innovation pioneered by the region. The season began with a dry, cool autumn which led into good winter rains and above average spring rainfall. The timing of this rain led to decent soil moisture during the growing season even though the annual rainfall was down on average. The cool, wet spring delayed budburst slightly and, combined with a cool summer, led to one of the latest starts to the vintage in more than a decade. A couple of below zero nights in mid-October caused some isolated frost damage and wet conditions through flowering in November led to some minor fruit set issues. But overall, the region escaped the wrath of Mother Nature. Cool, dry weather through summer and early autumn provided favourable ripening conditions, producing fruit with good natural acid levels and full varietal flavour. Overall, the 2022 vintage has delivered consistently high quality across both red and white varieties, along with welcome strong yields. The Rieslings are exceptional, and red varieties are showing a combination of quality and yield not seen for several years, with both Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon looking their stunning best.
In Wrattonbully - Coming out of winter, the season for vintage 2022 was looking fantastic with reasonable winter rainfall and near full soil moisture profiles. Moderate rainfall continued throughout early spring. The mild and dry conditions throughout late spring put the vine growth stages slightly behind average, with the majority of the flowering occurring from late November to early December. The mild and dry conditions carried on throughout summer, allowing the vines to develop in near perfect conditions. There was a distinct lack of weather extremes with no wet cold spells or heat waves for the vines to contend with. The conditions continued on into February, March and April which allowed for a slow and very even ripening of the fruit, with flavours and tannins developing well across all varieties. It is one of those years that it is hard to pick out a standout variety as all varieties both reds and whites performed exceptionally well.