Off to a flying start!

Wine / Friday, October 11th, 2019

It’s time to check in on that little block of vines I introduced you to in this blog post two weeks ago. Let’s see how the growing season is progressing…

The photos I have for you today were actually taken last week (too late for the blog). So you can get your head around the timeline… the assessments were done on 25th September and 4th October.

And as you’re about to see, A LOT can happen in just 8 days! (even we were pretty blown away) I honestly didn’t think I’d need to bring you this post for another week or so!

Instead of asking you to refer back to the previous post, how about I re-post the photo which was taken on the 25th of September on the left. I’ll pop the most recent one next to it? (I’m so good to you!)

Here we go…




























(Sorry about the finger!)

Wowsers! That’s quite a difference in such a short amount of time. It just happened to coincide with some beautiful warm (someone like me might even say “hot”!) Spring days during the week beginning 30th September. The temperature got up as high as 31.8 degrees during that time.


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The numbers…

Let’s have a look at how the numbers stack up…

(check back here to follow along with the E-L stage definitions)

VARIETY Growth stage (no. of leaves)

25th Sept

Growth stage (no. of leaves)

4th October

Shiraz EL 11 (3-4  leaves) EL12 (5) – 25cm
Cab Sauv EL 9 (2) EL11 (4) – 17cm
Tempranillo EL12 (5) EL13 (6) – 20cm dense
Sangiovese EL 11 (4) EL 11 (4) – 30cm dense
Merlot EL 9 (3) EL11 (4) – 17cm
Grenache EL12 (5) EL11 (4) – 17cm
Chardonnay EL12 (5) EL 14 (7) – 40cm
Semillon EL 9 (3) EL11 (4) – 15cm
Sauv Blanc EL 9 (2) EL 9 (3) – 12cm
Vermentino EL 9 (3) EL11 (4) – 20cm
Fiano EL 11 (4) EL12 (5) – 25cm vigourous
Riesling EL 11 (4) EL11 (4) – 20cm

Yep, so that reflects pretty accurately what we’re seeing in the photos. However, what you have to keep in mind is that it is really easy to over-estimate E-L stage. When you’re visually inspecting a vineyard, your eye is automatically drawn to the big stuff. And sometimes the small stuff is obscured by the big stuff. The only way to get the assessment spot on is to count the number of leaves on each shoot on a sample of vines and then average them. But honestly, who has time for that??!

Whatever the numbers are, it looks like the growing season is getting off to a pretty good start!

(apart from some frost issues early on in a couple of key regions, but let’s not bring down the mood and we’ll talk about that another day)


What about the Hills?

Please forgive me?

I didn’t get a chance to get my 459m above sea level Adelaide Hills photo last week. But here is the comparison between the Adelaide Plains Chardonnay (at 42m above sea level) on the left and the Chardonnay grown in the Adelaide Hills (at 654m above sea level) on the right.


The highest temperature reported at Mount Lofty during that same timeframe was 26.5 degrees Celcius with considerably cooler nights. Amazing what difference 600m and a couple of degrees can make!

2 thoughts on “Off to a flying start!

  1. Hullo Maree, pictures paint a thousand words though your words say it all.
    Very educational, thank you.
    Enjoy life

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