The home stretch…

Vineyard / Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Before I start, just a quick update on the recovery effort in the Adelaide Hills Wine Region…

Many grape growers have received their rushed orders of new polypipe to lay down for irrigation so the vines can start drinking again. This is a great relief, and we’ll be helping Kim Anderson with all hands on deck during the week. I will have a detailed report for you next week.


But for now, would you mind if we took a break from the fire-related news?


So… as promised (sometime back), here is the latest update from that block of vines down on the Adelaide Plains.

All of the bunches are looking remarkably like… well… bunches of grapes now! So, it is worth pausing here to remind ourselves exactly what we’re looking at.

Twelve different varieties of grapes all grown at the same tiny vineyard. That’s the same temperature, the same amount of rainfall, the same soil types, etc. etc.

What we are observing here are the differences between the growth patterns of the varieties only.

In the photos (not taken by me) below, the hand (not mine) is included as a point of reference. Because at this stage, the varietal differences in size and shape of the bunches are beginning to become clear. I mean, just look at those massive Grenache bunches!

Let’s take a look…




Cabernet Sauvignon









Sauvignon Blanc





The Tempranillo has obviously reached a stage in grape development called “veraison” (or EL35). The Sangiovese is not far behind. I don’t know if that single berry on the single Shiraz bunch counts as veraison, but clearly it’s not too far away either.



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Hold on… can you please remind me what veraison is?


Veraison is specifically defined as the stage at which three simultaneous but separate processes begin…

1. Each berry softens as the cells within the grapes begin to produce more juice and the skin becomes thinner.

2. Sugar starts to accumulate and acidity of the grape starts dropping away.

3. Colour starts to change – from green to red in red varieties and from green to translucent in white varieties.

There is a bit more info in this post too.


In comparison…

Our lovely cool climate (really?!) Adelaide Hills is still a way behind. Here is a shot of the Chardonnay at Mount Lofty…

And yes, there are still PLENTY of grapes in the Adelaide Hills which have been unaffected by the Cudlee Creek fire. So, never fear… there will no doubt be a great range of Adelaide Hills vintage 2020 wines to look forward to!

2 Replies to “The home stretch…”

  1. Please update us on how the horrible fires will impact Somerled. I have heard reports that Kangaroo Island is in bad shape. If true, I remember you had some vineyards there.

  2. Hi Gordon,
    Luckily The Moodys no longer own that vineyard on Kangaroo Island. It amazingly remained unscathed though.
    I will update you all again next week re. how Kim Anderson is progressing with his recovery effort. Rob was out at the vineyard today helping install the new irrigation pipe.
    Thanks so much for checking in.

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