2004 GROWING YEAR
The growing season can be characterised by noting that its weather was definitely of the continental type.
Budbreak began during a period marked by absence of late frost.
Nevertheless, low temperatures and some rainstorms in early May retarded shoot growth and slowed down somewhat successive growth phases.
Later, in late May, hotter weather favoured optimal flowering, with abundant fruit set. The result was the formation and development of more compact, and larger, clusters.
The summer season presented management challenges, with fairly frequent rains and mild temperatures, bringing about increased vegetative vigour and higher risk of fungal infection. In late June it was still difficult to form an optimistic view of the growing year, but the unpredictability of the weather does often favour us, and from mid-August on conditions turned encouraging. High pressure then held for almost a month, with bright sunlight and significant diurnal temperature fluctuations. Conditions during this period ensured a perfect final growth phase to the vine and optimal ripening to the grapes. A higher cluster weight gave us a slightly larger production that we had anticipated.