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2013 vintage report for Riverina (New South Wales)

The Riverina vintage started in the second week of January, earlier than the normal Australia Day start, due to light-cropping Chardonnay blocks.
The majority of the harvest was complete by the end of March, with only the botrytis Semillon remaining in vineyards.
Conditions were ideal throughout the harvest, bar two rain events and the heatwave, which caused some heat damage to exposed bunches.
Chardonnay appears to be well down this vintage, with a regional average harvest of 12 tonnes per hectare. Semillon production remained stable while Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier production rose.
WGMB CEO Brian Simpson said prices in the Riverina continue to be low which, combined with low or capped yields, is causing financial hardship to continue.
“It is estimated the majority of winegrapes were sold at less than the cost of production per hectare,” he said.
“District average pricing information to be released later is likely to show the fifth consecutive year of unsustainable returns to growers (in average terms).
“Growers reported disappointment in red prices as they were of the belief that prices would rise following two seasons that ended in lighter crops due to weather.”
Shiraz is likely to be the highest variety in terms of tonnes produced this season. The crop as at 8 March was 237KT with the Riverina Winemakers Association expecting a high 304KT.
Riverina vintage 2013 stats:
• At 300KT the 2013 Riverina grape intake was just 8KT short of the 308KT record set in 2009. And the red grape intake of 136KT was a new record, eclipsing the 2009 figure by almost 2000 tonnes.
• This year’s vintage is 17.5% higher than the rain-affected 2012 vintage (which saw almost 6000t of fruit processed for concentrate)
• The intake of sound fruit was up 20% on 2012 and met 99% of wineries’ anticipated intake
• Intake of most major varieties exceeded expectations. The only significant weak spot was Chardonnay, which at 54KT was 6% less than winemaker requirements and 9KT less than 201