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Pruning finished and clear sunny days saw the vines burst into life once again in spring. Always a magical time as the vineyard gradually is cloaked in a carpet of rapidly growing green shoots after the cold winter dormancy.
Average spring and early summer rainfall produced ideal leaf cover, although bunch numbers are down significantly across the district in Shiraz and Cabernet, possibly a hangover from the wet season last year.
Verasion occurred in early January with perfect conditions, clear skies and sunny days, cool air masses keeping the temperatures to a comfortable level. Some supplementary irrigation was applied during the dry January and February months, before some welcome rain at the end of February freshened up the vineyard.
Picking commenced in early March with our Riesling, followed by Shiraz, and the Cabernet was finally ready in early April. The wines are progressing well in tank and barrel, and 2012 looks like being a fantastic year for all varieties. The Riesling is shaping up to be sensational, and the intensity of flavours with our reds is looking promising – unfortunately due to the low yields, the quantity of reds produced will be less than usual.Watch out for our new release Riesling and Rosé, which will be in bottle before the end of June. As we say, ‘Drink in moderation, ......Frequently’
The site of the Little Brampton vineyard has been under almost continuous production since the 1860's, although some of the vines were removed during the 1980's in the ill-conceived vine pull scheme.
Replanted during the 90's, the premium varieties, riesling, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz thrive on the west facing slopes at the heart of the Clare Valley at an altitude of 520m above sea level.
The vines receive minimal supplementary irrigation, relying largely on the natural rainfall of the district. At this altitude a gradual ripening process results in fruit-driven wines with natural acidity.
Our plantings are on a 3 metre row spacing with 2 metres between the vines to achieve vine balance for the site enabling us to achieve a super premium quality with minimum intervention.
In an average year bud burst occurs in late September and flowering taking place in late November/early December during the idyllic early summer days.