On July 1st and 2nd of 1995 the vineyards were dealt an aggressive blow from 2 hailstorms. This affected the pruning that followed in mid-December as some of the canes selected for the 1996 season were damaged and scarred from the hailstones. This meant that in some cases fewer buds/vine hence fewer bunches/vine would form.
Fortunately the months of June and July were warm and dry and favorable to the fertilisation and flowering, and offset the majority of the loss caused by the hail the prior year.
August was wet and caused some botrytis (rot) in the lower and more humid parcels of our vines and required a team to remove the infected bunches. September was warm and sunny and compensated for the sunshine deficit the month before.
We harvested the Merlot, followed by the Malbec and then the Tannat from the 30th of September to the 21st of October. A warm, southerly wind blew from the 10th to the 13th of October and further concentrated the grapes still on the vine.
In general the grapes were slightly sweeter than in 1995, and had a little more acidity, which bodes of great aging potential for wine.
Quality of the Vintage