Winter, like some of the previous ones, was mild and snowless. Too warm winter months encourage early budding and pose a risk of spring frost. It cooled down in late March, snow fell in mid-April and budding began at normal times. Due to cold spells in April and May, the growing season started a bit later than in previous years.
Flowering began on 1 June. Due to the colder weather, it was slower but went smoothly anyway. It was also colder in late spring and early summer, with frequent rainfall. The summer was beautiful, sunny, not too hot, without a lot of precipitation, storms and hail. Grape ripening took place at moderate temperatures, which are excellent for aroma development.
As we were preparing for the harvest, pleased that we had taken the year off without a hitch, on August 30, the last hot and steamy day of the year, we were caught in a severe hailstorm. Strong gusts of wind knocked down trees and exposed the roofs of houses. The storm covered much of our wine-growing district. It spared only the eastern (Ivanjkovci) and western (Kog) part. Many vineyards have suffered damage—to a varying extent, depending on the exposure of each vineyard. Two of our vineyards: Lešnica and Brebrovnik, were severely affected by the hail—the vines lost so much leaf mass that the grapes did not ripen, and we had to eliminate it. In other vineyards, the damage was not severe. Dry, sunny weather allowed the grapes to ripen normally. Because the hail was so late, the vine shoots were already mature, woody and without deep wounds. Therefore, there will be no major problems with the pruning next year.
The harvest started a week later than in previous years. Between 9 September and 6 October, we harvested the crop without any problems on typical, beautiful sunny days with cold nights. The hail loss was 30%. During the harvest, we carefully selected well-ripened, healthy grapes and obtained an excellent base for all varieties of 2020 wines.