2018 McLaren Vale Vintage Report »

Great news out of SA from McLaren Vale Winemakers

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Harvest in Jim Zerella's vineyard in the McLaren Vale

Harvest in Jim Zerella's vineyard in the McLaren Vale


The 2018 vintage in McLaren Vale is being touted as producing wine of excellent quality. McLaren Vale wine producers live and breathe the 'big three' red varieties they produce (shiraz, grenache and cabernet sauvignon) which combined are around 80% of their wine production.

All of these were well suited by the season. At this stage, producers are scoring the vintage between 8 and 10/10, that is, near perfect. The best sites are going to be as good as they get.

The wine quality was set up by having a good wet season in 2017 which meant healthy vines, but a dry season early in 2018 prevented excessive vigour or disease problems.

Summer and early autumn were unusually dry. There was as little as 10mm of rain from 1st of January through to picking in the middle of March. Fortunately McLaren Vale growers have access to multiple water sources, including recycled water, which allows for timely irrigation and good yields. 

Favourable summer ripening weather with daytime temperatures in the high twenties, with cool nights, led to fruit in great condition at picking.

The good condition of fruit going into the winery allowed winemakers the freedom to take time and give full care in the winery.

Crop yields were 15-20% down on Vintage 2017 (which was a bumper crop compared to average). The yields recorded in 2018 are in line with the averages picked from 2010 to 2016.

Quotes attributed to James Hook – Agronomist and editor of CropWatch McLaren Vale.



  • McLaren Vale (SA)

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May 25th, 2018
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