Fortunately the recent severe weather system largely skirted the NSW Hilltops Region. The white varieties had already been harvested, with vignerons reporting good quality and yields for pinot gris, chardonnay and prosecco.
And the earlier ripening reds like tempranillo were also already in the tank. Other red grapes had been picked for making rosés.
According to Hilltops Association President, Brian Freeman, the impact on the traditional workhorse Hilltops red varieties – shiraz and cabernet is yet to be fully assessed. But most of the shiraz crop had already been harvested.
‘ The thicker, tougher skinned varieties like cabernet and the later ripeners, notably the Italian varietals like sangiovese and nebbiolo, are now hanging out to dry under sunny skies and should prove resilient.’
‘The weather cell hovered over the region for three days but fortunately the region is as named, hilly with 18-metre deep granite loam soils that soak up water like a sponge. Vineyards can typically be accessed within four hours of a downpour. We should be back to harvest action in a day or so,’ commented Brian Freeman, proprietor of FREEMAN Vineyards.
In fact, the total region rainfall over the three-day period was about 100mms and while it halted harvesting, the rainfall is not expected to seriously impact the overall vintage.
More information: Call Jane Adams M: 0417 733715