2007 was a very dry winter without normal winter rains preceded budburst. Spring brought a series of frosts (approx 35), with 4 very severe frost events during September, which burnt 70% of Coonawarra vineyard, leaving 20% untouched (which was under frost protection), and approximately 10% partially frosted.
Producers lost varying amounts of fruit depending on their respective areas under sprinkler frost protection. Windfans were largely ineffective against the large masses of cold air that formed in Spring. These were the most severe frosts in living memory.
Balnaves lost 90% of fruit from Balnaves vineyard but fortunately our best cabernet sauvignon vineyard, the Dead Morris Block and our best Chardonnay block were both protected by sprinklers.
A warm very dry growing season produced the earliest start to vintage on record. Similar to vintage 2006, some small rains and 2 weeks of cooler weather mid vintage slowed down sugar accumulation and allowed flavour and tannin ripeness to catch up in late March early April when we were able to pick well balanced fruit.
At this early stage quality in these unfrosted blocks is surprisingly good with ripe fruit characters and soft tannins and elegant structures, with potential to produce reserve wines.