Vintage 2014 in Queensland's Granite Belt
A difficult season producing both heartache and high quality
Contributed articles and stories
It’s been a difficult season this year. An early budburst, two late frosts, a number of hail storms across the region, successive heat waves through summer and more than our usual contingent of birds due to the dry conditions out west.
That being said, the vines in the Granite Belt region are used to hardship and have produced some fine examples of the many varieties grown here. The early budburst and hot conditions through summer meant most varieties were harvested earlier than usual with a finish about a month earlier than normal.
Yields overall were down a little due to the late frosts and the hailstorms. These late frosts played havoc with a small percentage of vineyards with some growers experiencing up to 70% loss of crop, Others had their crops wiped out in the hailstorms that crossed the region. Some growers had a double hit loosing up to 80% of their crops.
So although it wasn’t one of the easiest seasons, the growers not badly affected by frosts and hail blows ended up with some of the highest quality crops experienced yet. It sounds ironic that such good quality was achieved even with these forces of nature playing their part. The remaining fruit after the frosts and hail gave way to more intense flavours to the remaining crop.
Even though it is early days to give a final assessment of results, reports from winemakers is that this may even beat the 2012 vintage in terms of quality of the wines produced. When you hear the winemaker whistling along through the processing, it is always a good indication of a happy winemaker.
Most varieties have preformed well, including recently planted varieties such as Fiano, Vermentino, Pinotage, Sangiovese, Graciano and Saparavi. The market should be looking at the release of this years wines within the next 12 months for whites and 24 months for the reds.
New varieties planted within the last twelve months include Petit Manseng (an old white variety from the south of France) and Montepulciano (an Italian red).
Good cellar door sales are increasing each year as more people realise that the Granite Belt is making many of the finest wines in Australia.
- Granite Belt (QLD)
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