PADTHAWAY grape growers are taking a well deserved break after putting the cork in another vintage.
?The region is expecting lower yields than last year but a higher quality of flavour in the cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and chardonnay varieties.
Padthaway Grape Growers Association president David Edwards said rainfall had been below average, allowing growers to manipulate how much moisture the vines received.
"It has been a lot drier - since September last year we have had half below average rainfall and it has allowed us to really focus on flavour development," he said.
"The Christmas period was particularly hot and growers who stayed back and watered definitely benefited.
"Some went on holidays, but those who didn't were able to maintain their canopies and they did a great job of keeping them healthy."
This year yields are expected to be at about 27,000 tonnes while last year they were at 30,000.
Mr Edwards said vineyards were now being tidied up - old vines removed, trellising going up and pruning being done - and that many growers were also taking a well-earned break after the busy season.
The grapes will be classified in late May to determine where the fruit will go.