Mild weather ideal for vine­yards

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - Therese Col­man

Viti­cul­tur­ist Bruce Pearse says the re­gion’s wet win­ter and re­cent mild sum­mer could cre­ate the best vin­tage of his 40-year ca­reer.

The South West ex­pe­ri­enced lower-than-aver­age tem­per­a­tures be­tween De­cem­ber and March, which Mr Pearse said was ideal for vine­yards in the re­gion.

“The highlight of the vin­tage has been the mild day­time tem­per­a­tures free from the ex­tremes of heat,” he said. “Cor­re­spond­ingly, cool night-time tem­per­a­tures re­sulted in a longer pe­riod of mat­u­ra­tion on vine hav­ing ripe fruit with higher nat­u­ral acid con­tent.”

Mr Pearse said the fre­quency and amount of rain­fall re­ceived last win­ter was ideal.

“Re­ceiv­ing smaller amounts of rain more fre­quently is bet­ter than a few big down­pours,” he said.

“It al­lows the water to soak into the ground as op­posed to run­ning off into our wa­ter­ways. The com­bi­na­tion of plenty of soil mois­ture at depth from win­ter and spring rain­fall . . . has re­sulted in lots of flavour and aroma in white va­ri­eties such as chardon­nay, sauvi­gnon blanc and semil­lon.”

Lit­tle bird dam­age to vines also con­trib­uted to a good vin­tage, ac­cord­ing to Mr Pearse.

“An­other highlight of vin­tage 2018 was the free­dom from bird dam­age as a re­sult of the ex­tended pe­riod of marri flow­er­ing, our na­tive ‘red gum’,” he said.

“The flow­er­ing of the marri has a great in­flu­ence on food sup­ply for the ma­raud­ing sil­ver-eyes, wat­tle birds and par­rots that find grapes at­trac­tive when there is poor avail­abil­ity of flow­er­ing gums as a pre­ferred food.”

He said the ex­pected re­sults would come to the fore­ground when the re­gion’s white wines were re­leased in a few months, and the reds in a year or so.

Pic­ture: Therese Col­man

Viti­cul­tur­ist Bruce Pearse and Brook­wood Es­tate's Trevor Mann.

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