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This was a roller coaster year where growing conditions were at times brilliant and at others extremely challenging and where a degree of strategic decision making and risk taking made the difference between a great crop and a very mediocre one.

We started on the back-foot with late bud-burst due to the chilled, snow laden winter. Then came a prolonged sunny and eventually warm period over the early summer, with 12 weeks without rain, which brought the vines from 3 weeks behind 2009’s growing pace to “on a par“ by early August. Then came the coldest, wettest August for a hundred years. Growth slowed. October was warm and sunny and we ended the season picking just as the first frosts arrived.

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