Weather, weather everywhere....
Here in Central Otago it's rather cooler and cloudier than this refugee from the northern hemisphere had been hoping for (cue violins), like the New Zealand summer generally this year so far. See the latest report from NZ's most important wine region Marlborough here.
Australians meanwhile have been sweltering in their worst heatwave for 100 years. Kerri Thompson of KT and the Falcon, producer of fine Clare Valley Rieslings, reports:
It's hot here... damn hot... 44 degrees and counting and apparently will continue for the next few days. Spent the day walking vineyards today (stupid)... surprisingly Clare is still holding up quite well and has only just started veraison so is hopefully early enough to hold in there. Selective picking will be the key as sunburn is certainly going to be a problem in those vineyards with poor canopy. Have spent some time lately in McLaren Vale and as it's a fraction earlier, it seems like there is some more yellowing. The next few days will clearly sort them out and considering all of my fruit is dry grown I currently have everything crossed. Clare had the most rain (approx 120ml) pre Xmas and so I think this was our saviour.
But it's not just the southern hemisphere that has been experiencing exceptional warmth. Some Napa vineyards have already experienced budbreak – in January! Two months ahead of schedule. Frost and crop loss with surely follow. And those little bugs in the vineyards must been having a lovely time during California's exceptionally mild winter.