19/04/2005 - 22:00

Vintage 2005

19/04/2005 - 22:00

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James Talijancich of Talijancich Wines believes that while the Swan Valley’s weather may be getting drier, its wines are getting better.

James Talijancich of Talijancich Wines believes that while the Swan Valley’s weather may be getting drier, its wines are getting better.

“It has been a very good year for us, mainly due to drier, cooler conditions” Mr Talijancich says.

“But the season is a lot different from when I started 28 years ago. Up until 15 years ago you were guaranteed on getting not just dry, but hot conditions during vintage. Now this type of weather is not as obvious”.

For winemakers, this change in growing conditions means picking starts a lot later. But Mr Talijancich is confident that, with current vineyard practices and a passion for the region, Swan Valley wines will continue to be “as good as anything you can get”.

Using the recent successes of chardonnay and shiraz, he rebuts claims that the region is ill suited to certain grape varieties.

“[The success] goes against the grain of what wine judges have been telling us – that the Swan is too warm and we should stay away from table wine. If we had listened to them, the whole lot of us would only be producing fortifieds,” he says.

Suggesting that the Swan Valley and Margaret River may not be as different as many people believe, Mr Talijancich warns that regional comparisons are usually arbitrary.

 “I would never say that one region is better than the other. It is important for regions not to think that they are better than one another. They are who they are. That is the most important thing,” he says.

What is recognised as the Swan’s greatest strength is that its days are long and hot enough for varieties like verdelho, but at the same time, allows producers like Mr Talijancich to make fortified wine at 25∞ Baumé fruit.

 “There are only a few places in Australia where you can do that,” Mr Talijancich says.

In coming weeks winemakers all across the Great Southern will be racking their wines for the first and second times.

Meanwhile, in the Swan, vintners are busy bottling chenin blanc, rose, and other early release varieties.

Mr Talijancich hopes to round out another successful year adjusting the fortified wines to make sure they are sitting safely, and moving the reds onto oak.

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