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Mornington Peninsula victoria
Vintage started on 4 March, which was about normal for the Mornington Peninsula. Yield was below average but it was a significant increase on 2002, which was a very poor year because of an extended wet flowering period. This year was a more normal year but some yields were still 20% below an average year. The quality of grapes was generally exceptional and early indications are that 2003 will be a special vintage and the best for some years.
Weather during vintage was mostly warm and dry with a few rain events late in March. There was very little disease pressure this year and generally all fruit was sound and clean. The summer was warm and very dry but there was sufficient water for irrigation when required. Shoot growth was moderate and there was good fruit exposure. Reds are showing elegant fruit flavours with soft, balanced tannins.
‘We expect to see some outstanding Pinot Noirs,’ said Keith Harris, president of the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association. ‘White wines and Chardonnay in particular were consistent with the usual high standard.’
While early season comments indicated there may have been an oversupply of grapes by vintage, most grapes were taken up. There was a plentiful supply of labour available for hand harvesting and vintage ran smoothly. Increased growth on the Mornington Peninsula may put pressure on processing capacity in the future but the 2003 vintage will be remembered as one of the good ones.