MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate release
8 January 2016

A very early start to vintage in the valley with Grape Expectations!

Vintage has officially started for many of the wineries in the Swan Valley which is easily one of the earliest starts to wine harvest in the region over the past 20 years and quite possibly one of the earliest harvests in the country.

The region had a very dry Winter with the lowest rainfall in over 15 years. Warm Spring temperatures got the vines moving early and Spring growth was fantastic. Temperatures in October were up an average of 5 degrees Celsius overall.

John Griffiths, President of the Swan Valley & Regional Winemakers Association and Faber Vineyard Winemaker has said “Starting our harvest on 2 January with Chardonnay and Verdelho is the earliest wine harvest I have seen in my 23 vintages in the Swan Valley. All of the grapes are early and we should be picking reds before Australia Day.”

Many are saying the grapes are looking terrific, full of flavour and really ripe. A great start for the wine grape harvest season in the Swan Valley. All signs are pointing to an excellent vintage – both in quality and quantity.

Duncan Harris from Harris Organic Wine said “Higher temperatures and lower rain has meant the vineyards in the Swan Valley grew at tremendous rates with good fruit set allowing for early ripening of this year’s vintage. This is the earliest vintage I can remember during my time in the Valley!”

Sittella have said they are looking forward to making more Swan Valley flavour packed wines in the 2016 vintage. Colby Quirk, Senior Winemaker for Sittella has said “The 2016 Vintage is one of the earliest on record in WA. With the weather conditions in the last week of winter being more like spring, we were off to an early bud burst and growing season leading to our earliest Sparkling base pick on 2 January. It is all positive with great flavour development.”

Houghton Wines will be kicking off vintage with a pick of Swan Valley Verdelho on Monday.  Their vine health and fruit quality at this stage look excellent.

Wineries throughout the Swan Valley will again be welcoming people through their doors to experience crafting of Swan Valley wine from vineyard to bottle. ‘A Vintage Weekend in the Swan Valley’ will be held from 11 – 13 March this year, a great opportunity to meet the maker, see the faces behind award winning wines and get a behind the scenes look at how wine is made. Save the date as there will be plenty of fine wine, good food and music during vintage weekend right in the middle of harvest!

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