McLaren Vale’s 2016 vintage is well and truly underway, with the region’s vignerons anticipating a positive and plentiful harvest. That can only mean lots of wine, so this news makes us very happy.
With the conditions at a prime. the growing season was actually early thanks to the warm and dry weather late last year, and just enough rainfall in January to give the vines that boost that they needed leading into harvest period.
Winemakers throughout the region have identified excellent skin colour, varietal expression and natural acidity in wines now in production – with many commenting about an exciting and encouraging season.
Managing Director and CEO of McLaren Vale’s Wirra Wirra Vineyards, Andrew Kay, has his vintage crew working quickly under similar conditions to 2015.
“Vintage 2016 is coming at us in a similar compressed time frame to last year. Quality across McLaren Vale reds looks very strong. Fruit is showing wonderful flavour development and mild acidity at low baume levels which has seen a number of blocks coming off a little earlier than might be the norm,” said Mr Kay.
Derek Cameron and James Hook, local viticulturalists and founders of DJ’s Growers, are confident the month ahead heralds a high-quality vintage.
“The vines are in excellent condition at present and grape quality is holding well, also looks to be picking well with average yields expected,” said Mr Cameron.
“The wine community is optimistic about the season and is working hard to get the grape harvest complete before Easter,” said Mr Hook.
Jock Harvey, Chalk Hill Wines Viticulturalist, has experienced more than forty of the region’s vintages, with 2016 reported as one of the best he’s seen.
“We’ve had a season characterised by a dry winter and a mild summer, with the rare combination of background humidity and extended veraison – all signs that point to a healthy vintage.”
Weather conditions have continued to remain favourable over the lead up and the early weeks of harvest with warmer weather and minimal rainfall – ideal for veraison and grape development.
“A refreshing summer rain and a cool finish to the season with fresh mornings and mild evenings has resulted in fruit high in natural acid, deep purple and brick red colours and flavour well ahead of sugar ripeness,” said Mr Harvey.
Given the exciting start to McLaren Vale’s 2016 vintage, the region’s reputation for producing textural, flavoursome wines with character that reflects provenance is assured. And we will drink all of the wine that ensues!!