McLaren Vale – final 2017 vintage report »

The extended 2017 harvest has ended on a high note

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McLaren Vale Wine Region

McLaren Vale Wine Region [©Ben Heide]

McLaren Vale wine region


McLaren Vale's extended 2017 harvest has now come to an end with the region's vignerons and winemaking crews enjoying some well-deserved rest ahead of pruning.

The unseasonable rainfall through the summer months of 2016 delayed the onset of veraison and consequently harvesting of the fruit, with viticulturists across the region reporting picking dates four weeks later than that of the 2016 vintage.

Gemtree Wines Director and Viticulturist, Melissa Brown was pleased with the soil moisture and crop quality in the lead up to vintage. "After more than 800mm of rain in 2016 – an extraordinary amount for McLaren Vale – the vines cruised into January with a healthy amount of soil moisture and what looked to be above average crops," said Mrs Brown.

"Predominantly mild summer temperatures and a further 79mm of rain in January delayed ripening and the vines continued to show no signs of stress.

"Good acid levels were a feature of white varieties, shiraz crops were bumper and, with no rush to pick due to a relatively dry harvest season, some of the later ripening varieties such as cabernet and grenache are the shining stars of our 2017 vintage."

Drew Noon, MW and Director of Noon Wines also experienced a late, but good quality vintage with grenache a stand-out varietal. "lt was an especially wet summer but the rains eased at just the right time, leading into a perfect autumn for harvest in McLaren Vale," said Mr Noon.

"lt was a good quality vintage, especially for our grenache – with a lovely gentle balance to the flavour and very clear site expression, which I believe is a result of the slower ripening conditions. These should be wines which will drink very well right from release."

Grape growers across the region were well prepared in mitigating any disease pressure associated with wet weather during veraison, ensuring preventative measures including sprays, netting and weed control were organised ahead of weather events.

The drier weather pattern experienced in March and April produced cool nights and warm days – ideal for both accelerating ripening and suppressing fungal disease.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch notes the support and collaboration of McLaren Vale's wine community during peak production times in the region.

"The spirit of regional collaboration is unrivalled in McLaren Vale with neighbors lending machinery, cooking lunch for vintage crews and sharing a tale over a glass of wine after a long day picking – whilst it's a busy time in our region, it's also a lovely showcase of community camaraderie," said Ms Lynch.

"Wines produced from this vintage are going to be bright and vibrant – another stellar example of our region's viticultural and winemakeing talents."

This report supplied by the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association



  • McLaren Vale (SA)

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June 06th, 2017
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