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Singlefile Wines

Viv Snowden
14 February 2024 | Singlefile Wines Blog | Viv Snowden

Viv's Vintage 2024 Reflections: February

The first pick for 'The Vivienne' Chardonnay was delivered to the winery after an early start at 6am on the cool morning of February 12th— some 2 to 4 weeks ahead of our normally expected start date. The final picks for 'The Vivienne', the Family Reserve Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir are likely to be completed in early March. 

Very early picking dates are being experienced across many vineyards in Western Australia.  The early ripening of the fruit appears to be the result of the hot dry growing season - a consequence of the El Nino climate pattern which is in progress.  A significant benefit of early ripening is low disease pressure and a near absence of bird damage due to the prevalence of bush blossom which serves to distract the birds (in particular the Silvereyes) from attacking the grapes.

Singlefile’s vineyards have displayed excellent vine health thanks to a number of factors, including the pruning approach, soil nutrition and canopy management as well as the retained soil moisture from good rains during last winter.

Pruning Approach

The entire vineyard, both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier (PN/PM), has now been converted from spur to cane pruning (either single or double cordon).

The grafted Chardonnay block has been cane pruned (double cordon) for the third consecutive year and six rows of the Lower Chardonnay have been converted to double cordons over the last three years.

The benefits of the cane method appears to result in improved airflow and increased sunlight penetration leading to minimisation of disease and uniform ripening as well as achieving a reduction in vegetative canopy growth and less need for leaf plucking.  Double cordons have the added benefit of a significant improvement in maintaining a more upright cane structure, further increasing airflow and accessibility.


The range in annual rainfall in the Denmark area has been about 700 mm – 1300 mm per annum during Singlefile’s 17 years on the vineyard, where the average is about 1000 mm per annum. The 2023-24 growing season has experienced below median rainfall. Thankfully, there were no major setbacks due to large hail or damaging winds, and we were fortunate to escape the frost that affected some vineyards further inland in the Great Southern wine region.

Vine Growth and Fruit Quality

There was a quick start to the growing season with a spell of warm weather during Spring and early Summer.  A month of cooler weather did not appear to slow the growth and veraison was noticed much earlier than usual.

Both the bunch weights and bunch numbers are on par with the 2022/23 vintage in the Chardonnay but initial observations suggest they have increased in the PN/PM block.

Expectations for the Vintage

Our prediction for vintage 2024 is a bold Family Reserve Chardonnay of good flavour, good acidity and good yield.  'The Vivienne' Chardonnay will have layers of complexity from three separate picks of varying fruit ripeness from both the Upper Block and Lower Block chardonnay.  Our now mature PN/PM vineyard will again be harvested for our Single Vineyard collection. It proved itself last year and looks set to be able to achieve excellent ripeness for a plush style of pinot.


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