It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Vineyard / Friday, November 1st, 2019

Excuse me while I turn into one of those annoying people who comment on how quickly the year has gone…

Where on earth has this year gone??! It’s November. And that means I can’t deny that Christmas is “just around the corner” for much longer. But just watch me!

The fact that the weather is well and truly warming up doesn’t help my denial. Although I am still holding on for dear life to those cooler days which keep popping up now and then.

Thankfully the latest burst of cold weather we had over the last week doesn’t seem to have slowed the vines down at all.

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve done a full side by side comparison of all the varieties in the block down in Adelaide. I took some photos on Monday this week (28th October). Let’s see what they look like against the photos taken on October 4th (on the left)…



Cabernet Sauvignon









For some reason, I don’t have a photo of the Grenache from the 4th… sorry!





Sauvignon Blanc









What do the numbers tell us…?

(remember to 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

Growth stage (no. of leaves)

28th October

Shiraz EL 11 (3-4) EL12 (5) – 25cm EL19 (10)
Cabernet Sauvignon EL 9 (2) EL11 (4) – 17cm EL15 (8)
Tempranillo EL12 (5) EL13 (6) – 20cm dense EL16 (9)
Sangiovese EL 11 (4) EL 11 (4) – 30cm dense EL23 50% capfall (17-20)
Merlot EL 9 (3) EL11 (4) – 17cm EL15 (8)
Grenache EL12 (5) EL11 (4) – 17cm EL16 (9)
Chardonnay EL12 (5) EL 14 (7) – 40cm EL23 50% capfall (17-20)
Semillon EL 9 (3) EL11 (4) – 15cm EL16 (9)
Sauvignon Blanc EL 9 (2) EL 9 (3) – 12cm EL15 (8)
Vermentino EL 9 (3) EL11 (4) – 20cm EL16 (9)
Fiano EL 11 (4) EL12 (5) – 25cm vigourous EL19 Caps loosening (16)
Riesling EL 11 (4) EL11 (4) – 20cm EL20 1st capfall flowers (16)

If you need a reminder of what the term “capfall” means, take a look back at this post. I will come back to this next week though. We’ll go into it in a bit more detail then.


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What does it all mean??!

It is getting harder to decipher the real story just from the photos. The numbers though are beginning to highlight the differences between varieties.

In particular, I want you to have a closer look at the results for Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Fiano and Riesling. There is a massive difference between the growth stage these varieties were at just 24 days earlier. It is clear that these particular varieties are progressing through this part of the growing season quicker than others.

You will notice that other varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet appear to be taking things pretty slowly. Only adding around four leaves in the same amount of time.  But keep in mind though that the leaves and shoots are getting bigger and longer.

It will be interesting to see if the speed each variety moves through the other pivotal stages of growth changes along the way.


Adelaide Hills versus Adelaide Plains

Let’s finish with the comparison between the Adelaide Plains Chardonnay and the Chardonnay grown in the Adelaide Hills. As you can see, the Hills are still a long way behind the vines on the plains. That’s all thanks to our lovely cool climate…

Adelaide Plains: 42m above sea level (EL23 50% capfall – 17-20 leaves)

Adelaide Hills:  654m above sea level (EL12 – 4-6 leaves)

2 Replies to “It’s beginning to look a lot like…”

  1. Hullo Marree,
    I find Somerled a particular oasis in a sea of mediocrity. This goes for staff, owners,premises, location and of course wines. My only complaint is Somerled is not open for breakfast ( nor should you as you all need some rest ) the information you supply is really informative and my two vines need to read your notes as it appears I am not relaying the information correctly.
    Many thanks

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