September 21, 2023
Budburst in Spring
Spring is now in full swing, with buds bursting across all three of our grape growing regions: Langhorne Creek, Riverland, and Eden Valley.
David Bruer has long upheld the importance of hedging our bets. While we have control over many aspects in the vineyard, the weather remains unpredictable. Amidst significant weather events like hail, wind, fire, or rain, maintaining six vineyards across South Australia allows us to make the best of the unaffected regions. This also allows diversification to optimise varietal performance, as certain grape varieties excel in different climatic conditions—think Riesling thriving in cooler sites, for example.
Our initial burst typically occurs in the Riverland, particularly with our Chardonnay vines. This is closely linked to the region's elevated warmth, as the higher heat degree days translate to increased soil temperature and accelerated budburst. Additionally, warmer regions like the Riverland and other inland areas boast more consistent temperature patterns throughout the season, extending into autumn. This consistency fosters a more reliable and advanced ripening process.
Cool climate regions, such as our vineyard in Eden Valley, may occasionally experience similar heat as warmer regions, yet a crucial distinction sets them apart. It's the significant temperature drop during either the growing season's nights or on the cusp of the growing season transitioning into autumn that profoundly influences fruit ripeness. This temperature drop also plays a pivotal role in preserving acidity within the grapes. This is evidently why certain grape varieties thrive in warmer climates while others excel in cooler ones.
Despite seasonal variations and climatic factors, the order of budburst among grape varieties remains remarkably consistent. Chardonnay consistently takes the lead, with varieties like Cabernet and Mataro typically emerging later.