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2003 vintage report for Upper Goulburn (Victoria)

The GI Upper Goulburn is an interim determination awaiting final approval and is the new name for the region previously known as Central Victorian High Country.

The vintage was strongly affected by the very high summer temperatures throughout the region. Where water catchment levels allowed virtually normal irrigation regimes to be maintained, crop levels were lower than in 2002, but only by a fairly small percentage. However, where irrigation was limited to the critical times only, decreases in tonnages of 25% plus were not unexceptional.

Because of the high summer temperatures, disease pressure was low during the growing season, with no reports of mildews or Botrytis. Hail during early spring caused minor damage to a few vineyards, with less than 2% of the crop affected. The fires in the north-east fortunately had little effect on grape quality and there were no reports of ‘ash taint’. Vintage was about two to three weeks earlier than normal for the region, although Chardonnay was a bit slower to start.

The quality of reds from the region has been described as very good, possibly due to the small berry size, the whites are also showing good to very good quality.