Vintage Report

2015

Budburst was very early following good rainfall during winter and warmer conditions during August. We had excellent vine health into the growing season and flowering came and went without any problems. After the fruit had set we realised there was a quite a bit of work to do thinning fruit as there were a large amount of bunches and they were above average in size.

read more

2014

The 2014 season started with good winter rains leaving both our dams full to capacity for summer. On 18 October we suffered a significant frost which reduced yields significantly. January saw severe heat wave conditions with 9 consecutive days at or above 35 degrees, and 4 consecutive days above 40 with the maximum of 46.9 degrees on 16 January. These conditions brought on an early vintage with picking starting on 6 February. Yields were significantly reduced but wine quality was very high.

 

2013

The 2013 season got off to a late start with budburst starting the last week of September, two weeks later than prior. Winter rains meant moist soil conditions allowing the vines to progress through spring with minimal stress resulting in excellent fruit set and balance.

 

2012

Bud burst in chardonnay and pinot noir started 10th September followed by other varieties, with cabernet last at around 6 October. Soil moisture heading into the season was excellent and irrigation was not required until a hot Christmas week. January saw relatively cool daytime temperatures.

 

2011

It never stopped raining. Beechworth was a case of all or none; disease free grapes were perfectly balanced, with great potential. The rest were of ordinary to fair quality or lost completely. There was massive disease pressure, first downy mildew, then botrytis. It was agonisingly slow ripening with the white varieties much better than reds. The upside was flavour development at low baumes. Throughout the region crop losses ranged from significant to total. We picked 239 tonnes in total. Not even enough to satisfy our grape sales contract.

 

2010

We had great winter rainfall some frost in October. Verasion in the pinot noir was between Christmas and New Years Eve closely followed by the white varieties and the reds. A mild to warm start to summer then extended heat during January. Both Brad and Casey worked in shifts to keep the irrigation rotation going 24 hours. Rain began to fall on the 5th of February giving relief to the vines cooling temperatures and slowing sugar ripening to allow flavour development. Over the next two weeks more rain fell and temperatures continued to remain in the high 20s - low 30s which was ideal.

 

2009

A very dry year where the vintage was affected by heat and smoke. Winter was cold with intermittent rains. The growing season started with very low soil moisture and dams below full capacity. Three frost events occurred but little damage was recorded. Budburst was even with good fruit set and a potential average to above average vintage. Welcome rains in December (43mm) and 2mm on 11 January took the pressure off the limited supply of irrigation water. The season changed at the end of January with eight days recorded above 40°C and also hot night temperatures.

 

2008

A very good year for Beechworth with a long, even ripening period. The 2008 vintage came after an extensive drought placing pressure on sugar levels and flavours meaning that choosing the picking date for each block was critical. Good rainfalls during winter filled dams and improved overall soil moisture. The region experienced good top up rains during a relatively cool spring.

 

2007

The earliest harvest on record finishing in late February. It was a bloody difficult year with the Australian trifecta of frost, drought and fire. A heavy frost on September 25 caused severe damage. A second frost followed on the October 9 but caused little further grief. A third frost reduced the harvest even further. This was followed by drought conditions throughout late spring and summer. Mild to hot weather accelerated budburst and ripening, but yields are down. Bush fire smoke was a widespread issue for the vintage. Decided not to make any wine due to the lessons learned from the 2003 bushfires.

 

2006

The 2006 vintage again showed the effect of drought. Winter rains filled dams and saturated the soils. Spring remained wet and cold, but temperatures rose towards the end of December. Warm to hot and dry weather prevailed after Christmas right up to picking. High temperatures early in the vintage resulted in early ripening and picking. Yields in 2006 were approximately 3 tonne to the acre.
An earlyish vintage with some very convincing wines made.

 

2005

A relatively cool but top-notch vintage. Heavy frosts in October caused little real damage. Regular light rains over a cool spring/early summer resulted in excellent soil moistures. It was very wet in mid December but hot dry conditions prevailed during the critical ripening period allowing the fruit to achieve optimum ripeness. An even growing season with perfect ripening and excellent fruit conditions. Vintage arrived on the later side of normal. The effect of the drought could be seen in some stress on the vines. Yields in 2005 were low allowing concentrated fruit flavours.

 

2004

Good winter and spring rains provided a normal start to the season. Notwithstanding a couple of light frosts, there was good rain and kind, relatively weather up until New Year. After this it became very dry for the rest of summer, with a couple of brief, hot bursts. Picking was about the normal time and the grapes were beautifully mature, without being over-ripe. The wines have tremendous flavours and balance.

 

2003

We had an early start to the growing season with a warm dry spring but not much water in the dams or sub soil. A hot, dry summer followed with bushfires threatening vineyards late January and early February. The vintage started very early with whites harvested from the second week of February. Bushfires and severe drought ravaged the region. Smoke haze blanketed the vineyard for several days. While we persisted with picking, the wines made from grapes picked after the fires were impacted and not to our required standard.

 

2002

After an extremely dry winter and a frost on 22 October, the four summer rains (which totalled about 30 mm), provided relief. The ripening season was one of the coolest in 10 years. The cool summer, a very windy fruit set and flowering period resulted in tonnages which were slightly below average. Due to the cool summer, the general harvest started three weeks behind last year and two weeks behind normal. This has allowed, however, good flavour development and excellent natural acids.

 

2015

Budburst was very early following good rainfall during winter and warmer conditions during August. We had excellent vine health into the growing season and flowering came and went without any problems. After the fruit had set we realised there was a quite a bit of work to do thinning fruit as there were a large amount of bunches and they were above average in size.

READ MORE

Early summer saw regular rain fall during verasion (the period where the grapes start to change colour and ripen). The rain increased the threat of botrytis spreading, but the vineyard team managed to get that under control. The balance of the season saw very little rain fall and quite mild temperatures. Not a day over 40 degrees was recorded. Irrigation was still required as conditions dried out. Over the ripening period could not have been better. Nice warm days and cool nights without any rainfall, meant the grapes ripened very well and flavours development was fantastic.

Vintage started on the 5th February and concluded on the 23 March. This is the shortest vintage ever at Indigo. During this short period we handpicked 168 tonnes, and machine harvested 138 tonnes.

2014

The 2014 season started with good winter rains leaving both our dams full to capacity for summer. On 18 October we suffered a significant frost which reduced yields significantly. January saw severe heat wave conditions with 9 consecutive days at or above 35 degrees, and 4 consecutive days above 40 with the maximum of 46.9 degrees on 16 January. These conditions brought on an early vintage with picking starting on 6 February. Yields were significantly reduced but wine quality was very high.

2013

The 2013 season got off to a late start with budburst starting the last week of September, two weeks later than prior. Winter rains meant moist soil conditions allowing the vines to progress through spring with minimal stress resulting in excellent fruit set and balance.

READ MORE

Post Christmas, conditions were hot and dry with daytime temperatures above 30 degrees from January to mid February with minimal rainfall. This meant rapid verasion, when red grapes colour, and the white grapes begin to soften and accumulate sugar. We had plenty of water in the dams allowing us to irrigate leaving the vines through unstressed. Our focused effort on vine health, applying biodynamic methods, compost application and nutrient monitoring has proven itself worthy as every variety held up well despite the relentless summer conditions. Vintage started on 12 February continuing until mid March.

2012

Bud burst in chardonnay and pinot noir started 10th September followed by other varieties, with cabernet last at around 6 October. Soil moisture heading into the season was excellent and irrigation was not required until a hot Christmas week. January saw relatively cool daytime temperatures.

READ MORE

Hand picking started on the 10th February with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Rain started to fall on the 25th Feb with 200mm over 8 days. Day time temperatures were also very cool. On 9 March a further 40mm fell on the vineyard. These rains and cool weather provided the ideal conditions for botrytis to develop with cool day time temperatures and heavy dews allowing the rot to continue to spread.

Several passes were made through the Shiraz and Sangiovese to remove infected fruit. We applied traditional preventative sprays and organic sprays. Without the application and removal of infected fruit, the severity would have been far worse. No Viognier or Roussanne were harvested.

This year our grapes were processed under the guidance of Simon Steel, the new Brokenwood winemaker assisted by Nathan and Aaron who lived at Indigo for the vintage.

2011

It never stopped raining. Beechworth was a case of all or none; disease free grapes were perfectly balanced, with great potential. The rest were of ordinary to fair quality or lost completely. There was massive disease pressure, first downy mildew, then botrytis. It was agonisingly slow ripening with the white varieties much better than reds. The upside was flavour development at low baumes. Throughout the region crop losses ranged from significant to total. We picked 239 tonnes in total. Not even enough to satisfy our grape sales contract.

2010

We had great winter rainfall some frost in October. Verasion in the pinot noir was between Christmas and New Years Eve closely followed by the white varieties and the reds. A mild to warm start to summer then extended heat during January. Both Brad and Casey worked in shifts to keep the irrigation rotation going 24 hours. Rain began to fall on the 5th of February giving relief to the vines cooling temperatures and slowing sugar ripening to allow flavour development. Over the next two weeks more rain fell and temperatures continued to remain in the high 20s - low 30s which was ideal.

READ MORE

Harvest began on the 18th Feb with hand picking pinot noir and concluded on the 31st March with machine picked cabernet sauvignon. A good year for all varieties. More hand on methods of wine making were used to maximise flavours.

2009

A very dry year where the vintage was affected by heat and smoke. Winter was cold with intermittent rains. The growing season started with very low soil moisture and dams below full capacity. Three frost events occurred but little damage was recorded. Budburst was even with good fruit set and a potential average to above average vintage. Welcome rains in December (43mm) and 2mm on 11 January took the pressure off the limited supply of irrigation water. The season changed at the end of January with eight days recorded above 40°C and also hot night temperatures.

READ MORE

On 6 February extreme weather and critically low humidity resulted in the outbreak of bushfires in the vicinity of Beechworth. The large fire out in the national park caused a smoke haze at the vineyard but not as bad as previous of 2003 and 2007. The Pinot was picked before the haze and most of the Chardonnay. Yields varied enormously. Some exposed fruit was lost to sunburn. There was a lot of berry shrivel and yields were below average. The later varieties, Cabernet and Shiraz, proving outstanding.

2008

A very good year for Beechworth with a long, even ripening period. The 2008 vintage came after an extensive drought placing pressure on sugar levels and flavours meaning that choosing the picking date for each block was critical. Good rainfalls during winter filled dams and improved overall soil moisture. The region experienced good top up rains during a relatively cool spring.

READ MORE

By December hot dry summer conditions kicked in accelerating the growing season. Good rainfall before Christmas and at the end of January freshened up vineyards. February was cool with intermittent but beneficial rains. A long, cool, dry period prior to harvest resulted in very good ripening conditions. Crop levels were higher than most vineyards expected due to the February rain filling out bunches and berries.

2007

The earliest harvest on record finishing in late February. It was a bloody difficult year with the Australian trifecta of frost, drought and fire. A heavy frost on September 25 caused severe damage. A second frost followed on the October 9 but caused little further grief. A third frost reduced the harvest even further. This was followed by drought conditions throughout late spring and summer. Mild to hot weather accelerated budburst and ripening, but yields are down. Bush fire smoke was a widespread issue for the vintage. Decided not to make any wine due to the lessons learned from the 2003 bushfires.

2006

The 2006 vintage again showed the effect of drought. Winter rains filled dams and saturated the soils. Spring remained wet and cold, but temperatures rose towards the end of December. Warm to hot and dry weather prevailed after Christmas right up to picking. High temperatures early in the vintage resulted in early ripening and picking. Yields in 2006 were approximately 3 tonne to the acre.
An earlyish vintage with some very convincing wines made.

2005

A relatively cool but top-notch vintage. Heavy frosts in October caused little real damage. Regular light rains over a cool spring/early summer resulted in excellent soil moistures. It was very wet in mid December but hot dry conditions prevailed during the critical ripening period allowing the fruit to achieve optimum ripeness. An even growing season with perfect ripening and excellent fruit conditions. Vintage arrived on the later side of normal. The effect of the drought could be seen in some stress on the vines. Yields in 2005 were low allowing concentrated fruit flavours.

2004

Good winter and spring rains provided a normal start to the season. Notwithstanding a couple of light frosts, there was good rain and kind, relatively weather up until New Year. After this it became very dry for the rest of summer, with a couple of brief, hot bursts. Picking was about the normal time and the grapes were beautifully mature, without being over-ripe. The wines have tremendous flavours and balance.

2003

We had an early start to the growing season with a warm dry spring but not much water in the dams or sub soil. A hot, dry summer followed with bushfires threatening vineyards late January and early February. The vintage started very early with whites harvested from the second week of February. Bushfires and severe drought ravaged the region. Smoke haze blanketed the vineyard for several days. While we persisted with picking, the wines made from grapes picked after the fires were impacted and not to our required standard.

2002

After an extremely dry winter and a frost on 22 October, the four summer rains (which totalled about 30 mm), provided relief. The ripening season was one of the coolest in 10 years. The cool summer, a very windy fruit set and flowering period resulted in tonnages which were slightly below average. Due to the cool summer, the general harvest started three weeks behind last year and two weeks behind normal. This has allowed, however, good flavour development and excellent natural acids.