The year that is passing has become an ‘annus horribilis’ for us and many local growers. The 1997 vintage was reduced to some 40% of past volumes. This was brought about by a record wet winter and early spring followed by a record dry late spring and summer. The vines seemed unable to cope with these extremes of weather. Feeder roots went from waterlogging to desiccation and the vines aborted their grape ripening process and the bunches became partly filled with immature, unripened shot berries. The remaining grapes ripened wonderfully producing lovely powerful flavours, clean fermentations and superb wines.