(2012 Vintage) When considering the quality of a vineyard site, one important thing I look for is good soil drainage. It is pretty much a universal quality of the top vineyard sites in the world (with a very few exceptions in certain vintages). As I said last year in context of the low rainfall years, these well drained sites soak the water deep into the soil profile making very efficient use of what rainfall there is. The flip side to this is that in wetter years, excess rainfall is able to move through more quickly and allow oxygen into in the root zone. In short, these well drained sites are less affected by extreme conditions. It’s not rocket science, it’s more common sense. Vineyards like my father’s that have stood the test of time tend to have these characteristics.