Great wine grape har­vest

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

This year’s wine grape har­vest in Tas­ma­nia has set new records in terms of value and vol­ume, ac­cord­ing to Wine Tas­ma­nia’s 2018 wine grape vin­tage re­port.

The 2018 vin­tage in Tas­ma­nia will be one to re­mem­ber as the ear­li­est, quick­est and largest to date, with a record 16 280 tonnes of high qual­ity grapes har­vested.

Wine Tas­ma­nia’s vin­tage sur­vey also re­ports on a record av­er­age price paid for Tas­ma­nian wine grapes of $2977 per tonne, with Tas­ma­nia pro­duc­ing just 0.91 per cent of Aus­tralia’s to­tal wine grapes but rep­re­sent­ing 4.37 per cent of its value.

The 2018 har­vest started with an early be­gin­ning for su­per-pre­mium sparkling grapes, picked in midFe­bru­ary, and pro­ceeded at a quick pace due to warm weather and larger yields.

Some winer­ies broke records for the largest crush in a sin­gle week due to the speed of ripen­ing and har­vest­ing.

Ta­ble wine grapes fol­lowed at the same speed, with pro­duc­ers able to har­vest at op­ti­mal flavour ripeness.

The ma­jor­ity of har­vest­ing in Tas­ma­nia was fin­ished by mid-April with a few later va­ri­eties, such as late picked whites and caber­nets, hang­ing on a lit­tle longer.

The weather across Tas­ma­nia dur­ing the 2018 season was gen­er­ally very good.

It was warmer than usual — 1.2°C above the longterm av­er­age — without be­ing hot.

Rain­fall for the past 12 months was vari­able, rang­ing from ‘‘av­er­age’’ to ‘‘much be­low av­er­age’’, mak­ing for a clean har­vest with min­i­mal pest and disease pres­sures.

The re­sul­tant qual­ity in 2018 was ex­cel­lent, pro­vid­ing great ripeness and flavour in wine grapes which will be en­joyed in the 2018 vin­tage Tas­ma­nian wines.

Wine Tas­ma­nia chief ex­ec­u­tive Sheralee Davies wel­comed the 2018 wine grape vin­tage re­sults.

‘‘Grow­ing grapes, par­tic­u­larly in a cool cli­mate such as Tas­ma­nia, re­quires an enor­mous amount of hard work, ded­i­ca­tion and ex­pense each year lead­ing up to har­vest,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s great to see an out­stand­ing Tas­ma­nian vin­tage in 2018 in terms of wine qual­ity, value and quan­tity.

‘‘When com­bin­ing the value of Tas­ma­nian wine grapes with wine­mak­ing and wine tourism, the Tas­ma­nian wine sec­tor is es­ti­mated to con­ser­va­tively con­trib­ute more than $115 mil­lion an­nu­ally to the state’s econ­omy.’’

The lat­est Tas­ma­nian tourism num­bers for the year to March 2018 showed a record 297 882 in­ter­state and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors called into a cel­lar door dur­ing their stay, equat­ing to 23 per cent of all vis­i­tors to Tas­ma­nia.

‘‘Tas­ma­nia has built its rep­u­ta­tion on out­stand­ing qual­ity wines and this rep­u­ta­tion con­tin­ues to grow right around the world, con­tribut­ing to in­creas­ing de­mand for our wines and grow­ing vis­i­ta­tion to our cel­lar doors,’’ Ms Davies said.

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