No one I have spoken to can remember so much rainfall in the growing season. Month after month the rain, as everyone knows, has continued, with regular periods of heavy rain. In the 24-hour period last Friday to Saturday 110mm were collected in the rain gauge at our (Suzanne and my) house. It is situated high on the Warramate Hills, with only forest (no roads or houses) further up the hill. But even here we have had water damage (of relatively minor extent). The Coldstream Hills winery and adjoining estate vineyards have not been affected, and in all our vineyards, constant vigilance and regular copper/sulphur sprays have prevented the outbreak of downy or powdery mildew, and botrytis. So far.
At this stage vintage will take place three weeks later than any vintage since 2002, and given a more reasonable weather pattern between now and early May, things are looking really good.
Others have been more affected. Franco D’Anna at Hoddles Creek Estate sent me the pictures of his vineyard and winery (pictured above), also on a hillside in the Upper Yarra Valley after 121mm on the weekend. Happily, the water did not rise further in the winery, so there is no damage, but a lot of cleaning up to do.