The 2013 vintage will be remembered as the driest, earliest
and quickest vintage in memory.
The 2012/13 growing season was extremely variable in all
aspects, with 2012 rainfall in the Barossa Valley the fifth driest on record
[& even less so in the Eden Valley].
The flowering period was particularly volatile, with a
number of violent lightning storms damaging the emerging inflorescences.
This, combined with the dry conditions which
continued into December and January, led to poor fruit set in most varieties.
A heat spell of temperatures over 33 degrees from 12-18
February caused many vineyards to lose more of their potential yield, and
baumes jumped dramatically, [prompting harvest to begin] in mid-February with
Riesling and other white varieties.
Nine days above 30 degrees in early March (the third longest
run ever of above 30 degree-days in March), meant that much of the Eden Valley
Riesling and Shiraz ripened early and was picked in the first two weeks of
Yields were generally below average, but quality looks
Riesling harvested early
retained both natural acidity and great flavours, while Shiraz is probably the
standout red variety from the region.
Quoted [with edits] from 2013 Barossa Vintage Report
prepared by Barossa Viticulture Technical Group chairman, Nigel Blieschke,
& Chief Winemaker, Yalumba Wine Company, Louisa Rose published in
The Leader, 8 May 2013