12/05/2011 - 00:00

Vintage expectations high

12/05/2011 - 00:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

THE long, hot summer may have lingered a bit long for residents of the South West, but for the state’s wine industry it meant an early harvest and what looks to be another good vintage.

Vintage expectations high

THE long, hot summer may have lingered a bit long for residents of the South West, but for the state’s wine industry it meant an early harvest and what looks to be another good vintage.

Fogarty Wine Group proprietor Peter Fogarty says all the signs suggest another great vintage for Western Australia.

“This year across the board they were very good,” he says.

“There were good yields in terms of white grapes that are very good quality. Shiraz out of Margaret River this year looks really good and cabernet was quite good, probably not as good as last year, it probably suffered a bit because of the heat but is still very good quality.”

While his Margaret River vines had the highest yields this year, Mr Fogarty was most confident about the performance of the Pemberton area.

“We had very good rain and a great season in Pemberton. That can suffer from turning cold a bit too early, but because it has been a long, warm summer it has been fantastic for Pemberton. Cabernet from down there looks quite good,” Mr Fogarty told Business Class.

“Margaret River quality is good and we have seen the same for Perth Hills and Geographe. Overall, despite the fact we haven’t had much rain, it has been a pretty good long ripening season.”

Heading south-east of Pemberton, The Yard Wine Company founder and prominent WA winemaker Larry Cherubino predicts the Porongurups will be WA’s best-performing subregion for the 2011 vintage.

“It will be WA’s best area, the feature of the WA harvest,” Mr Cherubino says.

Cullen Wines managing director Vanya Cullen agrees the vintage is strong and says the Margaret River region performed well, with hot and dry weather leading up to what was an early harvest she expects will produce some world-class wines.

“There will be some outstanding cabernet sauvignon if people had their vines in balance,” she says.

She added that sauvignon blanc and semillon were ‘‘excellent’’ and classed this year’s vintage of the well-loved Cullen chardonnay as ‘‘outstanding’’.

Ms Cullen says Cullen Wines had the earliest finish to harvest on record and she is happy with the wines produced to date.

Wine Industry Association WA general manager Aymee Mastaglia is confident the season will add another notch to WA’s wine production belt.

The optimum production levels reached 80,000 tonnes in 2006-07, heights that won’t be matched this year, according to Ms Mastaglia.

“It has been another successful vintage for WA wines. Last year we had 67,000 tonnes crushed. This year I think it will be slightly more, around the 70,000 tonne mark,” she says.

Ms Mastaglia says most whites came off the vine early in the season, with most producers picking white varieties at the same time, while reds were staggered across the harvest.

“All indications show it is going to be another great vintage. Some wine makers are comparing it to the ’07 vintage which was one of the best,” she says.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options