Following a very early start to budswell, the vines have slowed a little over the last 3 weeks – which is great! But warmer, and in the south and east, drier conditions are seeing chardonnay showing green tips and most other varieties are well and truly on the move. Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc however, still look a little sleepy. The exceptionally dry conditions in the south east – especially in the Derwent and Coal Valleys and on the East Coast – are somewhat concerning. Our main dams are very low but we are fortunate in being able to transfer water from a reserve dam, and also to get access to some scheme water, which we will need to start drawing in the next week. Very dry springs also traditionally carry an increased risk of late spring frosts, which in some blocks can be quite damaging. Most of our blocks have a very low risk factor, but never the less we shall be monitoring the situation closely. Our stately old riesling vines at Bream Creek are now commencing their 45th spring – so I guess they have seen wetter and drier seasons before and simply take it pretty much in their stride!