Barossa’s 2020 wines will again be sought out early by fans and collectors, with yields tracking below the 10-year average due to temperamental spring weather, and a hot, dry summer.
Last week’s mild weather (@ 3 February), followed by a welcome 25-30mm of rain the past weekend, will certainly help Barossa’s grapevines recover in preparation for the ripening period which occurs now until late March/early April.
Barossa’s reduced yield is partly due to the hot, dry December and early- mid-January (similar to 2019), however many growers managed this well with prudent attention to maintaining soil moisture and irrigating before heatwave events.
Barossa’s harvest yield will largely be determined by the ‘up and down’ temperatures in spring last year. There were many cold nights through mid-November, with day and night temperatures 1 to 1.5 degrees below average, which upset flowering.
In early November there was also a period of strong winds, which didn’t help vine function. Then in late November, later flowering areas and varieties were affected by extremely hot weather, notably the 42-degree day on 20 November.
Southern Barossa Valley and Eden Valley seemed to have fared better, due to flowering either side of the variable mid-November weather.
An indication of quality is still too early to call however, winemakers are saying with (hopefully) “smooth sailing” from here, it will be another high-quality Barossa vintage.