Cheers as wineries toast early harvest
It is quality over quantity for the region’s wine grapes as wine-makers enjoy an early harvest this year.
Some wineries are reporting crop yields up to 50 per cent lower than usual but are buoyed by the improved fruit quality.
Truffle Hill Wines licensee Stuart Hutchinson said Margaret River wineries were also experiencing lower yields and sourcing Lower South West grapes as a result.
“We’re still expecting a successful year,” he said.
“We’re down on yield, about 50 per cent, but the quality of fruit is so good.”
Mr Hutchinson said he harvested pinot noir on March 17 last year and this year, the grapes were already harvested and fermenting.
“The region really has shifted from quantity to quality,” he said.
With some fruit still on the vines, Mr Hutchinson said he was hoping for favourable weather this week.
Wine Industry Southern Forests president and Lost Lake Wines owner Ash Lewkowski described this year’s fruit as exceptional.
“A warm, dry spring has led to amazing quality in the grapes, with little to no disease,” he said.
“There are smaller, tighter bunches of grapes on the vines, which will increase the tannins in the red wines.
“If you have a wet season, you generally get lower quality fruit.”
Mr Lewkowski said wineries across the State were generally down 25-30 per cent down on yield but it would be a great year for wine.
“I’m a believer that it’s better to have a smaller amount of good wine than a larger amount of average wine,” he said.
“A good season helps with the promotion for our region moving forward.
“And a good season does link into the next year and we’re poised for a good season next year.”
Pemberley Wines owner Monica Radomiljac said her business’ harvest was three weeks early and the fruit was excellent.
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