Coming off several dry seasons it was great to have a normal 2009 winter rainfall patters, allowing for reasonable soil moisture levels at the start of the 2009/10 vinegrowing season.  All was looking good, but as is oftn the case mid November it can come back to bite you!!!

We experienced the hottest period for htis time of hear that I can remember in my 40 years of grape growing with several days over 37 degrees and a couple of 40's.  Barossa growers reported various varieties affected by this event, when vines were going through flowering and fruit set.  Varieties most affected were Grenache, Merlot and Chardonnay (who cares I say, we don't grow that stuff).  the other interesting phenomenon was that not the same variey was afected in all vineyards and some vineyards had larger or lesser losses tha others.  I would suggst due to the vine health and their ability to handle the stress at this time.  Losses from this heat wave were reported as little as 20% and as much as 80%.

The remainder of the Barossa growing season was extremely favourable and after several years of below average yields the majority of vineyards appeared to have average crop levels.  Here at Whistler our canopy health and bunch compostition and lack of blemish from sunburn was fantastic in vineyards which have been kept in good health and well managed.

I guess in the current industry environment I cannot go past a comment on supply and demand for Barossa fruit!  I know that I often sit with a glass of wine at the end of the day on our front lawn and think how fortunate I am that we made the decision over 10 years ago to become and estate wine lable, 1 because I no longer have to deal with the angst of negotiations with someone to purchase my fruit and at what price? and 2 because we established our wine label before "every man and his dog" decided it might be an easier way that trying to sell grapes (little do they know how much is involved).

To sum up, you don't often come across a vintage which is favourable for both red and white production, but this 2010 Barossa vintage I should suggest will be well worth bottling!!!