Vintage Reports, Years: 2003

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2003 vintage report for Blackwood Valley (Western Australia)

The vintage began with the early whites being harvested at the end of February through to mid March. The red grapes ripened simultaneously in mid March with vintage completed by mid April. Some growers experienced a small amount of hail damage and heavy rains during February prior to harvest, which delayed the ripening of the […]

2003 vintage report for McLaren Vale (South Australia)

McLaren Vale’s vintage was one of extremes, but it wasn’t  all doom and gloom. Windy conditions during flowering and fruitset in the spring of 2002, and the worst drought in more than 100 years, affected yields, making pre-vintage yield estimates down by 5 to 20% on an average year. Yields were further affected when rains […]

2003 vintage report for Beechworth (Victoria)

The most obvious characteristics of the year were the warm, dry conditions which reminded many people of 1998. This heat was reflected in both the harvesting time and in the size of the wines—the warmest, earliest and probably the biggest in local history. The whites were harvested from the second week of February, with Pinot […]

2003 vintage report for Margaret River (Western Australia)

The vintage was preceded by a perfect summer, warm and sunny whereas the 2002 summer was quite overcast. These weather conditions led to early veraison and rapid development of sugar and flavours, culminating in all varieties reaching ideal ripeness levels close to the same time, placing considerable pressure on availability of labour and machine harvesters. […]

2003 vintage report for Barossa Valley (South Australia)

A dry winter and spring in 2002 caused most varieties to set lower than average crops. Dry and warm to hot weather during December and January promised and delivered an early vintage. However, the dry conditions came to a sudden halt on 19 February when the Heavens opened—and approximately 70 to 80mm of rain fell […]

2003 vintage report for Lachlan Valley (New South Wales)

Vintage started on the lighter country on 29 January with the Chardonnay being quite high in Baume about 10 days earlier than normal. White yields were about 40% less than normal due to the drought. Grapes tended to raisin as soon as they reached ripeness, producing a sweet, rich must. Red yields varied. Early ripening […]

2003 vintage report for Langhorne Creek (South Australia)

The season in Langhorne Creek this year was very compact, beginning slightly early and being one of the shortest in memory for many. The region experienced generally fine and warm weather throughout the growing season with only a spill of rain early in vintage. This presented little concern, only briefly slowing the harvest of red […]

2003 vintage report for King Valley (Victoria)

Budburst occurred in mid to late September following a dry winter. Above average temperatures and wind speeds were recorded throughout October and November. A freak storm swept through the region in November, resulting in hail damage on a handful of vineyards in the lower reaches of the valley. Warm, dry conditions in late November/early December […]

2003 vintage report for Hilltops (New South Wales)

Lower than normal yields resulted from the 2003 harvest due to the unseasonable dry conditions during the entire growing season. Limited water supply to most vineyards did not allow irrigation systems to fully supplement moisture levels. Some dry land crops resulted in very poor yields. Fruit quality was as usual high, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz […]

2003 vintage report for Henty (Victoria)

Budburst began in a solid manner, albeit a little later than usual. Bunch numbers were low but the absence of frost balanced the levels of optimism. As a warm spring progressed, vines made up lost ground quickly.  Unfortunately, flowering was dominated by a 10-day cold snap. This affected early flowering varieties that were already hampered […]

2003 vintage report for Hunter Valley (New South Wales)

The Hunter Valley vintage commenced on 16 January, which is early for the region. With the worst recorded drought since 1902, yields were destined to be lower than usual. Typically, irrigated vineyards were down by 25% with dry farmed areas down significantly more in some instances. Across the board, the Hunter was down an estimated […]

2003 vintage report for Grampians (Victoria)

Following fairly good spring weather for budburst and flowering, summer came on hot and fast. The hot and dry weather caused some concern that the fruit would sweeten rapidly and result in a significantly early harvest. Sugar levels did rise quickly initially then levelled out following timely rain, allowing the colour and flavour levels to […]

2003 vintage report for Goulburn Valley (Victoria)

Sauvignon Blanc in Monichino’s Katunga Vineyard in the northern Goulburn Valley was among the first fruit to be harvested in the first week of February. Local vineyards commenced harvest two to three weeks earlier than average. The vintage was characterised by a warmer than average growing season with drought conditions continuing from the previous season […]

2003 vintage report for Gippsland (Victoria)

Like Caesar’s Gaul, the Gippsland zone falls naturally and geographically into three sub regions. South Gippsland is separated by the Strzelecki Ranges from the West, Central and East Gippsland and is ameliorated by its maritime location.  East Gippsland begins at the Avon River at Stratford and goes to the edges of Bass Strait and the […]

2003 vintage report for Alpine Valleys (Victoria)

Following an extremely dry winter and spring, the growing season saw a continuation of low rainfall. Throughout the region, these conditions resulted in smaller than average berry and bunch sizes and an early cessation of shoot growth, leaving even, well-balanced crops that promised to deliver some excellent quality. With this dry start to the season, […]

2003 vintage report for Adelaide Plains (South Australia)

The growing season started slowly—the October budburst was a bit later than average in some vineyards—probably because growers pruned late and the 2002 winter was dry. Uneven buds and shoot lengths were particularly noticeable in Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Some shoot damage occurred in the north east of the region after a hailstorm. By […]

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