Wow – what a start to vintage. Winter rain was average to above average, but Spring proved to be dry and the lead into Summer got drier. We had an average of 75.7 mL in Lobethal for Spring against a usual rainfall of 214 mL. Summer started dry as well and the heat kicked in early. We had some hot days, but we have luckily not had long spells of continued heat, with temperatures cooling down overnight to give the vines some relief. The week starting around Australia Day saw cool weather arriving, with temperatures in the low 20’s and overnight dropping to below 10 degrees. This has now freshened up the vines and made them ripen and grow like crazy. Not very technical, but it was a refreshing change to the last lot of weather we have been experiencing. Besides the odd sunburn on exposed fruit, the vines and fruit are in excellent condition. Bring on vintage. The Barossa has low red crops and the Hills will start harvesting sparkling bases from now on. Some are still at least a week away or more before kicking in, but with some crops low, it will start with a bang.