17/05/2005 - 22:00

Vintage 2005

17/05/2005 - 22:00

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The 2005 vintage will be remembered as one of real highs and some lows, according to Western Australian Wine Industry Association president John Griffiths.

Vintage 2005

The 2005 vintage will be remembered as one of real highs and some lows, according to Western Australian Wine Industry Association president John Griffiths.

“For the general consumer, these are exciting times” he said, citing Margaret River chardonnay and Swan Valley shiraz as wines of distinction this year.

But Mr Griffiths, who has spent the past few months travelling the state talking to different vintners, says the season was not without its hardships.

“We are better off at the end of this season than last,” he says, although late rain in Pemberton, southern Margaret River and the Great Southern was “disappointing” due to the amount of fruit lost.

“It was a vintage in which some individuals will suffer. But, overall, the crop is 10 per cent lower than last year, which will take some pressure off people trying to sell their reds at the moment.”

But the real surprise from 2005 has been the continued dominance of locally grown aromatic varieties, in particular the emerging blend of semillon sauvignon blanc.

“This category has the highest growth rate in the strongest growth segment,” Mr Griffiths says. “Some local producers are witnessing growth of 200 per cent in last couple of years just in this category.”

And as vintage draws to a close, Mr Griffiths’ comments ring true as a multitude of busy bottlers work desperately trying to get these varieties onto retail shelves by June/July.

“If you look at where we were 10 years ago, we [WA] only made 5 per cent of Australian wine and had 5 per cent of the winemakers. We won the [premium] niche market and now we are five times bigger with five times more talented people,” he says.

“We are all going to forget the lows and remember the highs.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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