JUST WINE: Promising signs in early harvest of 2018 vintage

FRUITFUL HAUL: The harvest of Pinot Noir grapes at the Annangrove Park vineyard of See Saw Wines. Note the tight bunches of the Pinot variety, so named for the shape that resembles pine cones. This fruit will end up as top quality Orange region sparkling wine.

FRUITFUL HAUL: The harvest of Pinot Noir grapes at the Annangrove Park vineyard of See Saw Wines. Note the tight bunches of the Pinot variety, so named for the shape that resembles pine cones. This fruit will end up as top quality Orange region sparkling wine.

As we approach the pointy-end of the growing season, #V18 is looking very good.

The story this year is the dry conditions of the winter which, combined with lower cropping levels, means an early harvest.

The lack of rain meant there was a general moisture deficit in the sub-soil so, even though spring and summer rain has been normal, the warm to hot conditions of the past few weeks have moved things along.

The first fruit for sparkling wine was picked last week from the warmer, lower altitude parts of the region.

Fruit for sparkling wine, usually the early ripening Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is picked at low sweetness/high acid.

Cropping levels are average or a bit below, particularly in Chardonnay.

The talk is that #V18 resembles #V16, but it’s too early to say.

One thing’s for sure: There’ll be plenty of rhyming when the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival kicks off next week.

Cheers.

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