ORANGE’S grape harvest for 2013 has begun with a forecast of a good yield in the district.
The early harvested fizz (champagne style) varieties are the first to be picked by Angullong wines as part of this year’s harvest.
Owner Ben Crossing said while hand pickers were used to bring in the early variety, machines will be used for picking in the coming weeks for the pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc varieties
As one of the growers in the district who boasts shiraz as the most planted variety, he said growers are reaping the benefits of good advice from the first shiraz symposium held in Orange during Wine Week last year.
“I think it has helped growers in the area on many levels and for our part it has helped us look more closely at best practices,” he said.
Mr Crossing said a fire caused by a lightning strike on the property around 6pm on Sunday night did not affect vines ready to be harvested.
“But it burned out about 20 hectares, so this lightning is keeping us on our toes,” he said.
Winemaker at Printhie Wines at Molong, Drew Tuckwell said a dry and hotter than average summer this year will produce an entirely different vintage from the last two wet and cooler summers.
“The great thing about winemaking is that you can make wine for 60 years in a row and it will be different every year,” he said.
Mr Tuckwell said Printhie will probably start harvesting red varieties at the weekend with shiraz varieties first off the vines.
He said the recent rain has not brought with it diseases which were a challenge in the wet summer last year.
“We kept our eye on the weather and saw the rain was coming, so we sprayed beforehand,” he said.
David Cumming of Define Wine said it is Orange’s climate and soils which enables a wide range of grape varieties to be grown to perfection in the district.