2022 Vintage Report
The 2022 vintage began slowly with a late budburst and a wet Spring. The Yarra Valley experienced higher than average rainfall in September and October and La Niña was declared which typically means increased rainfall and cooler daytime temperatures.
The unsettled weather had an adverse impact on flowering and therefore fruit set. In particular resulting in greatly reduced yields of Chardonnay and Pinot noir. Shiraz experienced what we refer to as ‘sticky caps’ where the rain causes the flower petals or caps to stick to the other flower parts obstructing the fertilisation process and reducing the number of grape berries. Cabernet sauvignon however set only slightly short of its long-term average crop.
Early November continued to be cold and storm cell activity brought strong winds at a crucial time in cane growth and we lost about 30% of the old vine Pinot shoots to wind damage delivering yet another blow to Pinot noir yields. By late November however, things started to warm up and rainfall was now minimal for the remainder of the growing season.
We experienced a dry but humid summer with consistently warm days over the Christmas and new year period that persisted until late January. Then some rains with a downpour with the highest January daily rainfall record for Coldstream, our vineyard received 48mm followed by another 18mm. As we are a dry grown vineyard the vines responded quickly after the prolonged dry period causing split and further crop loss in both Chardonnay and Pinot noir.
Relief came in February when only 1mm of rain was received. Dry and mild weather continued which is unusual but was welcome and harvest began at a relatively normal date on 16 February. Some light rains fell after Pinot was safely in the winery and before Shiraz, this stalled ripening and there was a slow and steady flavour accumulation for the remaining varieties.
In summary, after a challenging growing season with reduced fruit set, no real picking pressures were experienced during a mild and relatively dry harvest. The lighter than average crops mean strong flavour development and the mild conditions delivered good acid retention.
Some of the best vintages are made when prolonged hang-time develops flavour with minimal sugar accumulation and early indications are of a high-quality vintage but terribly reduced yields of Chardonnay and Pinot noir.