With Barossa’s 2019 harvest over the mid-way point, indications are wines from Barossa’s 2019 vintage will be of very high quality but of limited supply.
With a very dry winter and spring; frost events on 29 September and 8 November which disrupted bud burst and flowering; a hail storm hitting some vineyards on 22 November, and hot, dry conditions in January and February, 2019 will be the lowest-yielding Barossa harvest of the past decade.
The lower yields will result in Barossa Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon with great colour, intense flavours and firm tannin structure. Grenache and Mataro, most yet to be picked, are shaping up to be 2019 vintage standouts.
On most soil types, vineyards irrigated in winter, particularly following rainfall events have retained better soil moisture and healthier crops than those irrigated later in the season. Data from Barossa Grape & Wine Association’s “demonstration vineyards” project shows vineyards with mulch under-vine and mid-row swards are retaining cooler soil temperatures, less evaporation, slower ripening of fruit and higher bunch weights, compared with vines grown in bare soil.
As at 13 March, most Barossa Valley Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Eden Valley Riesling had been harvested, with Grenache, Mataro, and Eden Valley Shiraz due to be picked in the next two to three weeks.
The lack of rainfall means Barossa’s vineyards have not experienced any disease pressure this season.
Barossa Grape & Wine Association will provide an update on progress of the 2019 vintage in the coming weeks.
Photo courtesy of Two Hands Wines