Vintage 2019 - Part 1
- Howard Park
The whites have been picked, with only the reds left to go. Howard Park Co-owner Jeff Burch has this to say about how vintage 2019 has gone so far.
2019 is a vintage that has been good for some and problematic for others. It has been very dependent on where you are located and the weather received, as well as your skill and dedication in the vineyard.
We had late and cool growing conditions, with poor fruit set in October and November thanks to unseasonably stronger winds. Early on, we knew that yields would be down and picking would happen later which could push us into the possible high risk area of season end rains. We’re expecting total yields to be down 10 – 40 %, depending on variety, region, block aspects and how much the vines were protected from the wind.
Suffered terrible frost at the end of November which is very unusual. Depending on the elevation of blocks. Losses vary from 10% to 85%!
Missed the frost but had summer rain for 3 days exactly when we were due to pick the whites, adding disease pressure and a loss of yields. Down 30-40%.
Northern Margaret River, thus far, has faired better than areas of Southern Margaret River where it is cooler and later in the season. Yield losses estimates at 5% in the north and 15% in the south.
The late and cool season resulted in very little local gum blossom, which the birds prefer. So vineyards had to use extra netting to protect the fruit, which can also increase the difficulty of managing disease.
Well managed vineyards such as our own delivered high quality grapes but smaller volumes. It would be my presumption that badly managed vineyards would deliver average quality grapes with disease evident.
We are just starting to pick the reds. Pinot Noir has already been picked and whilst the fruit quality was very high the yields were down 45%