Rainfall…wet winter and fairly dry growing season…good for harvest.
Available moisture during season…the larger canopies ran out of available soil moisture on lighter soils at Eden Valley and where irrigation was limited in the Barossa, slowing berry ripening later on.
Temperatures…quite a warm spring and a cool march…good for fruit set and harvest
Varietal responses to seasonal conditions vary under stress…Shiraz loves it and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot don’t benefit at all
Eden Valley is always cooler by a couple of degrees which is significant, but soils don’t hold as much moisture for the dry years like this and defoliation results. The northern Barossa has lovely rich red clays which produce outstanding Shiraz grapes in years like this. Lyndoch areas to the south are quite hot and provide very sweet simple expressions in such years…can be handy blenders though.
Low yield Riesling at Eden Valley is early ripening and inclined to avoid mid late season weather impact, the results were very good as per 2017.