Vignerons across the Island have expressed relief as well as optimism about their current harvest of vineyard fruits which they predict will yield some special 2013 vintage whites and reds.
While climatic and topographical variations across the island presented a range of challenges, it was generally agreed by Sunset Winery, Bay of Shoals and Dudley Wines that this year’s grape yields were better than average; that the quality of the fruit was excellent; and that their wine makers were very happy.
Greg Miller at Bay of Shoals Wines said “It was an earlier harvest because of the warm weather and it was also a reduced picking period. We harvested the fruit at optimum maturity under ideal conditions and as we picked each variety, the other came to maturity. We are very happy with the way it’s worked out.”
Colin Hopkins at Sunset Winery said “it was a terrific summer for ripening which was not even disturbed by the recent hot spell. Also, without unseasonal rains, there were minimal, if any, disease issues.
“However, Dudley Peninsula did have some unusual weather conditions such as a stationary high weather system and warm easterly winds which meant some night temperatures didn’t get below 25 degrees in the cellars.
“This created all sorts of problems for refrigeration. With assistance from the Trethewey family, who offered their potato cool room at Parndana, we saved two batches of our Sauvignon Blanc. Now one of those batches is turning into a fairly fancy parcel of wine.”
Dudley Wines’ Jeff Howard was pleased to report that “at this stage we have very good quantities, the best we’ve ever had. We’ve taken off nearly five tonnes of Chardonnay per acre, which is pretty high for KI where the average is about two tonnes per acre.
“The quality is exceptional as far as the grapes go, but it’s a bit early to tell if the wine is going to be brilliant or just fantastic!”