McLaren Vale Vintage Report - Part 1

Grape harvesting in the McLaren Vale wine region is progressing very well.  The harvest is running earlier than average, following on the trend first seen by an early grapevine bud burst and flowering last spring.
Summer has been warm, but vineyards have been spared the trials of extended heat waves and also heavy rain showers. The weather has been ideal for ripening except for some sites being exposed to high strength gully winds. While wind damage has left these vineyards looking a little rough round the edges, fruit quality has been unaffected.
Shiraz begging to be picked.
At the end of February, most white grapes varieties and approximately half of the Shiraz crop has been picked, with some early Grenache also being taken into wineries.
The 2012 Lazy Ballerina Shiraz, based on fruit from the famous Inkwell vineyard, was picked on the 22nd of February. This was early and in line with the other 'A-Grade' vineyards in similar sites.
Dudley Brown and James working the crusher and de-stemer.
Winemakers reports so far have been glowing, and the Lazy Ballerina vintage is no exception.
Of course winemaking is always subject to the weather and it is possible something could change between now and when the last grape load goes into the crusher.  However, story so far is a great year for all varieties in 2012 which will strengthen McLaren Vale’s reputation as one of the world’s great wine regions.
The chances are, your favourite winery, be that Chapel Hill, Olivers Taranga, Paxtons, Coriole, Chalk Hill or another is sitting on some of its best fruit in years.


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