After a delayed start, McLaren Vale’s 2017 vintage is now underway with the region’s vignerons forecasting a positive harvest.
The growing season, and subsequent harvest, was lengthened by several weeks thanks to many wet weather events that occurred during the veraison period.
Growers and winemakers throughout the region have been working together to mitigate disease pressure that can accompany unseasonal and prolonged wet weather in the vineyard.
Hardys Tintara Winemaker, Paul Carpenter is optimistic about the fruit he has seen so far.
“We are seeing good healthy canopies with average to above average crops – excellent flavour and bright natural acidities from the cooler and longer ripening period that we've experienced,” said Mr Carpenter.
“It all bodes well with Cabernet and Grenache looking to be the stars with brightness of flavour and soft fine tannins, fingers are crossed.”
McLaren Vale viticulturist and Director of Pridham Viticulture, Ben Pridham believes the wet weather had a positive impact in the vineyard environment.
“No two vintages are the same, and that’s why we love what we do,” said Mr Pridham.
“2016 saw the wettest winter, spring and summer for many years. This helped flush our soils and recharge our aquifers to pristine condition. Very little supplementary water was needed this growing season.
“We are expecting great quality as our ripening conditions are ideal with a later harvest than last year.”
Penny’s Hill Winemaker Alexia Roberts is excited by the flavor development already identified in most blocks.
“The flavour development is already evident in most blocks. Our Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot parcels all look strong with great varietal characters and good acidity,” said Ms Roberts.
Given the optimism of the region’s viticulturists and winemakers and the quality of fruit already harvested, the prospects of a quality vintage producing wines of regional expression is assured.