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Make hay while the sun shines! Appropriate words as the regions vignerons were launched into vintage for another year. Not only winegrapes but an incredible crop of stone fruits, berries and apples continues to be harvested across the tablelands of the Orange region, according to David Crawley, Orange Region Vignerons Association president.
As the first bunches came off the vines, the harvest was looking superb, Crawley said. The wine grape growers were excited by the prospect of high quality wines being produced from the region for 2015.
Crawley said a cold winter with a number of snow falls quickly transformed into a warm and dry spring and had the regions vines in a canter before Christmas. Since then the season has slowed down, with a mild summer of warm days and cool nights.
January saw some much needed but above average rainfall which enabled good canopy growth, he said. There were some isolated thunder and hailstorms where a few vignerons experienced some quite severe damage in their vineyards but the majority of growers escaped unscathed.
Many of the vineyards in Orange had picked their sparkling bases and most of their aromatic varieties by the end of February. For those vineyards at higher elevations, the season has been perfect, with sparkling base picked mid-February. For some of the vineyards on the lower slopes, they were well and truly into their season at the time of the report with Shiraz being harvested in mid-March.
Crawley said reports from some of the regions vignerons were describing clean and precise fruit with great flavours.
Marty Gransden, Cumulus Wines vineyard manager, said he was impressed with the quality this year.
I am thinking that the winemakers will be really happy this season, Gransden said.
Philip Shaw, from Philip Shaw Wines said he was delighted with how the 2015 vintage was going.
“We were concerned about the rain we received from Christmas to late January but the last three weeks have been excellent and our vineyard is looking outstanding with wonderful fruit flavours and Pinot Noir showing amazing colour, Shaw said.
Clayton Kiely, from Tamburlaine’s, said the reds were showing excellent colour and were due to be picked before the whites this season.
At present, after 20 years of growing winegrapes, this season is shaping up as the best quality so far, Kiely said.