This was a difficult vintage for the Yarra Valley overall. At Gembrook we were spared the spring frosts that wiped out many vineyards on the valley floor. Following a wet June and July, the warm dry spring and summer conditions lead to yet another precocious vintage commencing on the 8th of March. This was the earliest on record of a series of early vintages. Crop levels were consistent with those of the last few years. The recent trend of increasingly hot and dry drought years has made the benefits of a good vineyard site even more apparent to us. Our altitude (300m) on the cooler southern boundary of the Yarra, where we harvest up to a month after the lower Yarra, ensures cool nights and warm days which we consider very important for ripening. Our easterly aspect spares the vines from a hot baking afternoon sun and the fact that the vineyard is dry grown (non irrigated) and is now reasonably mature, allows it to tolerate drought conditions better than may be expected. Gembrook Hill did not release a Pinot Noir due to smoke taint which affected much of the Yarra Valley's harvest.