The winter prior to the 2012 harvest was considerably colder and drier than normal with only 183.6mm of rain falling at Pinhao. Budburst occurred under very dry conditions towards the end of the third week in March, followed by very welcome rainfall in April and early May. The vineyards at the end of May showed low vigour, due to the combination of the cooler than normal spring and the extremely dry winter. The temperatures for the 2012 growing season were very balanced, with no real spikes of intense heat, with the exception of the 24th and 25th June. The vines maintained their lower than usual vigour and the smaller bunches and berries resulted in a low yield for the year. By mid-August, the canopies covering the grapes were still incredibly luscious and in good condition, helping the grapes to continue ripening during the entire vintage, something that rarely occurs. Picking started on the 18th September and with the exception of some rainfall on the 24th September, the rest of the harvest was carried out under perfect conditions.