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Swan Districts' 2008 vintage report
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The 2007–2008 season was characterised by above average winter rains and a few late spring rains, average spring temperatures, which resulted in a timely bud burst and excellent vine growth.
Above average temperatures in January and a heat wave on boxing day (45.5c) resulted in berry shrivelling on some varieties.
There was a little rainfall during the summer period, and although there were some humid days, all fruit was disease free. The high summer temperatures and warm evenings meant fruit ripened earlier than previous years, with good flavour, but slightly lower acidity.
Harvest started in late January and by the end of March vintage was finished, all fruit had been harvested except fruit intended for fortified wines, which succeeded in attaining good sugar levels.
Most pleasing for Swan Valley winemakers were both white and red wines characterised by full flavours, with reds having excellent colour and tannins. Particularly impressive is the quality of Verdelho and Shiraz. Base wines for fortified styles displayed excellent fruit character and achieved the high Baume levels expected.
Overall the quality of fruit was good, but most producers found themselves 20 to 30% down in terms of crop level. All fruit was sold without any problems for good, fair rates for the varities.