Juniper's 2022 vintage

“Our Winter rainfall was slightly above average, & of course in addition to the 250mm that fell during vintage 2021, which provided a really good recharge to the soils. A further 120mm fell in October 2021 (against the average 67mm) & this, coupled with below average temperatures in October & November, reduced berry set & therefore yields, particularly on Chardonnay, Malbec, Shiraz & Semillon. Fortunately, in December wind conditions were such that we avoided smoke damage to fruit from fires in both the north & the south of the region.

Disease pressure was kept at bay by a tight organic spray program combined with cultural management of the vines - specifically shoot thinning, leaf, & bunch removal. Biological controls were also employed, such as the release of Cryptolaemus ladybirds to control mealybug outbreaks & the application of a naturally occurring bacillus to control Light Brown Apple Moth. A strong Marri blossom (& other natives) kept birds out of the vines from late January to mid-March, avoiding the need to net for many of the red varieties, & there was minimal bird damage across all sites.

Summer months were in the top 5% warmest on record, so a protective white Kaolinite clay was sprayed onto stressed vines & bunches at risk of burning in afternoon sun. This facilitated rapid berry development & ripening, allowing vines to catch up after falling behind in the cooler spring. Warm conditions meant that flavours & phenolics developed early. It was also very dry; a mere 30mm fell over December, January & February combined; with lower humidity compared to the previous vintage, & this lowered the risk of outbreaks of Powdery & Downey mildew, plus Botrytis.

After a warm, dry start to the first half of March a low-pressure system brought 25mm of rain at the tail end of the month, with weak cold fronts beginning to brush past in April bringing a few mms of rain each week. Excellent ripening conditions in other words for the reds to reach maturity.

Vintage 2022 ran from 22nd February to 7th April & was slightly compressed - particularly in the first half. Staffing for hand-picking was again an issue due to Covid. Yields were down on the Wilyabrup Karridale sites due to poor set caused by the cool wet spring, but up slightly at Metricup. Quality, however, was excellent, particularly across Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay & Tempranillo.”