The three vintages preceding 2004 were climatically very different: 2001 – hot, 2002 – cool and 2003 – dry. The 2004 growing season was climatically normal with good spring growth and a long, dry autumn.
Ripening was slightly later than usual with whites being picked in mid-March and reds in late March to late April. If there was one catchword for the 2004 vintage, it would have been fruitful. It is common to thin fruit from young vines, but in the 2004 growing season one third of the crop was removed from even the oldest vines, just prior to veraison. The end result was small berries with intense fruit flavours which will rival the outstanding 2002 vintage.