Winemakers in Orange are struggling to produce 2012 vintages, while one winemaker will have no 2012 sauvignon blanc.
And next year’s yield is at risk.
Senior viticultural consultant Peter Hedberg said this year’s yield was 50 per cent less than last year. The low yield affected sauvignon blanc, shiraz and chardonnay.
“We [vignerons] in the area all had a low harvest this year,” he said.
“There are some worse off than others, those who are on higher ground appear to have suffered more.”
Mr Hedberg said the weather in 2010 affected the yield in 2012, as the fruit takes about 18 months to mature.
“There were two la nina years where it was very cold and wet and that had an effect,” he said.
“We had a lot of rain in the November-December period in 2010, which severely affected the harvest this year.”
Mr Hedberg is worried this year’s cool summer will mean a smaller 2013 vintage.
“This year has been very cold and I see the same problem happening again next year,” he said.
Winemaker at Patina wines Gerald Naef was unable to produce the Patina 2012 sauvignon blanc because of the low harvest.
“I buy grapes off local vineyards to make Patina Wines and unfortunately the place I buy from didn’t have enough grapes for themselves so sadly there will be a gap in my price list,” he said.
“Orange has been unusually cold lately. Normally Orange will have two weeks of 30-plus temperatures and we didn’t have that this year.”
Mr Hedberg said the 2011 harvest was large and that may have contributed to the low yield this year.
“There might have been a bit of over-cropping in 2011 and as a result the vines are protecting themselves by recovering with less crops this year,” he said.