Rainy Days

Wine / Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

It’s been a while since we caught up with the things in the vineyard.

At this time of year, it’s easy to forget that not everyone in the world is wrapped up in (excuse the pun!) getting presents sorted, planning Christmas Day meals and arguing over at whose house said meal will be consumed.

SOME people are busily tending to the needs of something far less demanding (demanding, but less likely to argue back!)


What’s that wet stuff?

Last week, we finally got some rain. 

Well, not just some rain. In fact, in the last 3 weeks, the Adelaide Hills region has doubled its growing season rainfall!

Luckily, despite the first of this rain occurring when the slowest of our varieties (Sauvignon Blanc) was only halfway through flowering there does not appear to be any impact on completion of flowering.

Provided growers have been keeping up to date with their fungicide spray programs the rain will have been a welcome sight!

Unfortunately, it’s not the same story for our poor cherry growers. That rain came at a terrible time for them. I saw an article in our local newspaper this morning saying that a grower here in the Hills recorded more than 50mm of rain over a 6-hour period at his orchard. In two of his riper varieties, 50-60% of them are now split.

So, grape growers are feeling pretty grateful right about now.

But, it looks like we’ve got another decent sized rainfall event on the horizon next week. Stay tuned for more news on this.

Until then, let’s have a look at what stage vines are at across the region…


Most Advanced

E-L 29        Berries peppercorn size (4 mm diameter), bunches tending downwards.
Chardonnay at Macclesfield.

Least Advanced

E-L 27       Setting, young berries enlarging (>2 mm), bunch at right angles to stem.
Sauvignon Blanc at Lenswood and Woodside. 


Shoot growth


This graph shows shoot growth for Chardonnay at Macclesfield for the past six seasons.

While we’re still tracking above all past seasons (other than the super hot 2020), cool temperatures in October and November have slowed growth.

It remains to be seen whether warmer weather will increase the rate of growth in the next month as was recorded in 2021 and 2022.

If this predicted hot, dry summer ever eventuates, we’re likely to see that little red line take off (especially now we have some decent soil moisture).


Christmas Shopping sorted…

Don’t forget we have an amazing range of gifts available in store – both on-line and in the flesh!

You can find a delicious array of pantry items, gift vouchers, rare vintage wines and of course all of our current vintage releases.

You can also gift an Invitation to the Jockey Club. 


  • 1 x bottle Somerled Sparkling 2019 Methode Champenoise;
  • 1 x bottle Somerled 2021 McLaren Vale Shiraz;
  • 1 x Golden Envelope containing Club Information, tasting notes and Heather’s Favourite Club Recipe
  • plus 1 pack x sundried wild figlets (a signature Somerled treat) to nibble on while pondering all of the exciting Club details!

What a gift!

Head on over to our website or pop in this weekend – we’d love to see you for a pre-Christmas drink!  

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