2017 november frost in southern victoria

The vineyards at Mount Langi Ghiran look splendid!

If you like visiting cellar doors and enjoying wine tastings now is the time, it is when the vineyard is looking its best: lush, green and abundant. Normally, we would have been experiencing these conditions for the last month, instead this year the vines have taken a little while to shake off the winter blues.

This spring we have had more than our fair share of cold snaps, rain clouds and dull days conspiring to keep the new growth in check. The worst of the spring weather visited the region in the early hours of Saturday 4th November, a large mass of cold air descended on to parts of southern Victoria and South Australia, causing widespread frosts that damaged many vineyards and in some cases causing a total loss of crop.

Acts of nature are often random, and it was with great relief that we discovered our own vineyards had been largely spared of damage with only a section of our Old Block Shiraz showing the effects of a light frost.

2017 November Frost in Southern Victoria

A light frost will ‘burn’ only the most tender growth mostly destroying the growing tip of the vine shoot but sometimes damaging the little flowers that are forming and were destined to become this year’s harvest. In some areas, unfortunately, the frost was deep enough that all of the vine’s green tissue was completely frozen managing to wipe out the vintage in just a matter of hours.

Our own vines have been able to recover quickly thanks to the low level of damage and the warm weather, so much so that now you would hardly know there had been a frost at all. Of course the crop will be a little lighter in that area but overall the vines are booming, they love sunshine and water and finally, we have both!

Damien Sheehan, Viticulturalist and GM of Mount Langi Ghiran