SPRING REVIEW VINTAGE 2013/2014
Perth has experienced one of the warmest and driest winters in recent years. These conditions have continued throughout the Greater Perth Grape Growing district for Spring. So what does it mean for the vineyards of the Perth Hills?
This has been an exceptional year for growth. The spring rains and relatively warm conditions have meant that we will have to think about canopy management much earlier than previous years. As well as the vines, cover crops and weeds have been enjoying the rain, so pest and disease management has been significant. One grower reporting "we have been lucky with spraying, I've managed to time applications between large, localised rain events. I had noticed a few disease spots which has reinforced for me the value of walking each and every vine row."
Bud-burst commenced early September on most varieties and was even across the whites and reds. Conditions have meant that flowering has been slow on some types. Depending on site, aspect and management practice, there have been reports of delayed flowering. Prolific vegetative growth, has called for more aggressive canopy management to open and direct the vine growth to allow sun exposure to developing bunches. Vine yields seem average to above average with well formed bunches.
Let's hope it warms up and stays dry for what looks like being a bumper 2014 harvest.