Barossa Valley – 2018 vintage report »

#V18 is looking good in one of South Australia's premier wine regions

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Barossa vintage 2018 Rosenvale James and Aub

Barossa vintage 2018 Rosenvale James and Aub [©Rosenvale Wines, Barossa]

Barossa vintage 2018 Rosenvale Sem
Barossa vintage 2018 Rosenvale picking
Barossa vintage 2018 Rosenvale Sem bunch
Grape picking in the Barossa Valley in South Australia

Barossa grape growers and winemakers will call it ‘a wrap’ in the last three weeks of April, happy with a high-quality 2018 vintage and good yields.

“Flavours and colours in reds are wonderful, and natural acids in the Eden Valley whites surprisingly high, with early standout varieties this year including riesling, chardonnay, shiraz, grenache and cabernet”, said Yalumba head of winemaking Louisa Rose.

The growing season started off well, with winter 2017 rainfall around 10% higher than average. However, spring rainfall was only 78% of average in the Barossa Valley (BV) and 98% in Eden Valley (EV), and December rainfall was only 57% of average in BV (88% in EV).

This produced drier soils, which combined with warmer than average October and November days (October 2ºC above average in BV (1.8 ºC in EV) and November 1.1ºC above average in BV (1.6 ºC in EV), meant the vine canopies grew quickly;flowered well and set a good number of bunches.

January and February 2018 were warm and dry, with very warm temperatures in February slowing down the pace of ripening. January was slightly above average (1.4ºC during the day but closer to average at night) and February was about average during the day, but with significantly warmer than average night time temperatures in the Barossa Valley (5.8ºC warmer). 

With summer rainfall 50% of average, growers with access to water, soil moisture monitoring, good irrigation management and healthy soils experienced less stress – and subsequently delivered sound fruit and consistent yields.

The Indian summer of March and early April has been 'the icing on the cake', with average temperatures, without extremes, and only 7.6mm of rain in BV (8.2mm in EV), perfect for finishing off vintage. 

While there is variation across the Barossa, shiraz yields at this stage are tracking lower than 2017; generally around 10-20% below the long-term average – but higher than the (very low yielding) five years prior to 2017.

Cabernet sauvignon is reported to be average to 15-20% down on the long-term average.

Eden Valley Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon will continue to be harvested throughout April.

This vintage report supplied by Nicki Robins, Viticultural Development Officer, Barossa Grape & Wine Association


  • Barossa Valley (SA)

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April 17th, 2018
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