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2015 vintage report for Barossa Valley (South Australia)

The 2015 Barossa harvest period was ripe for success early on, according to Nicki Robins, Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA) viticultural development officer. Robins said grower’s experienced 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain in early January which set the vines up nicely for the ripening period.
“The majority of canopies held up through the warm days of February, with some extra irrigation going on to get the vines through the heat,” Robins said. “No heatwave conditions this year, which was a relief!”
According to local winemakers, Barossa and Eden Valley whites including Riesling, Pinot Gris, Semillon and Chardonnay have produced good yields with some of the best quality in years.
After undergoing significant changes in the past year, Peter Lehmann Wines have more than doubled production coming into the 2015 harvest season.
Ian Hongell, Peter Lehmann Wines chief winemaker, said the changes have revived the iconic winery and paved the way for a “good vintage”.
“It’s been fantastic. The place is alive again, we’re processing premium fruit from right across South Australia and we’re employing more people. It’s all good stuff. Everyone’s had to lift, but everyone wanted to. There has been some added complexity, but nothing we couldn’t handle,” Hongell said.
At the Barossa 2015 Declaration of Vintage, Louisa Rose, Baron and winemaker, said Barossa red varieties including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot and Mourvedre were showing “strong colours and rich flavours”.
Due to low yields of Barossa Shiraz over the past two years, the variety was in high demand in 2015. Robins said the Shiraz yield has been strong, with the exception of those vineyards hit by the October frosts, largely in Ebenezer.
“Overall, the Barossa winegrape yield should be higher this year than in 2013 and 2014, which is very good news for both Barossa growers and wineries,” Robins said. “Winemakers are telling us the quality of the 2015 Barossa vintage is outstanding.”
At the time of this report the majority of Eden Valley Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache were still yet to be picked.