2017 Vintage report – Coonawarra, South Australia »

A return to a more traditional vintage

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Bruce Redman, Nick Zema and Greg Clayfield at Zema Estate

Bruce Redman, Nick Zema and Greg Clayfield at Zema Estate [©Milton Wordley]

Doug Bowen
Coonawarra grapes on the vine


A cool growing season and above average winter rains leading into the 2017 vintage saw the region return to what could be best described as a more traditional Coonawarra vintage.

The cooler conditions resulted in budburst being delayed by up to three weeks, with flowering two weeks later. A mild summer followed, with a welcome spell of hot days in late January.

These factors saw harvest commence towards the end of March and continue through to early May. Coonawarra has not had a vintage which commenced this late since the outstanding 2004 vintage. The major concern was the highly variable weather which can occur at this time of year.

The start of vintage saw white grapes with good varietal definition and the reds, albeit at lower sugar levels than recent vintages showing excellent colour and concentrated fruit flavours.

April saw a large rain event toward the end of the month, and this, combined with above average yields meant that not all fruit in Coonawarra was harvested. With growers and wine makers working together to obtain solid results in cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and chardonnay, shiraz being the one variety that was difficult to finesse.

With the integrity and reputation of Coonawarra of upmost importance, it was pleasing that grape growers and winemakers alike refused to pick fruit of inferior quality, and with this in mind it is anticipated that yield for the region will be similar to previous years.

Reports of good quality wines in tanks around the area are common, with winemakers being impressed with the fruitiness of the whites, the deep colour, and elegant fruit flavours of the medium bodied reds.

This report presented by Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated (CGWI).


  • Coonawarra (SA)

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June 12th, 2017
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