Winemakers say they are concerned cyclone Rusty could have a negative affect on this year’s vintage.
Karribindi Wines winemaker Kris Wealand said Rusty was the unknown factor of this year’s pick, but he suspected it wouldn’t do too much harm to vines or fruit.
“We would prefer not to have rain during vintage,” he said.
“It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Woodlands Wines production manager Andrew Watson said their forecasts indicated there could be some rain this Sunday.
“Rusty is posing some problems, but we hope it’ll blow over.”
Mr Wealand said conditions to date had been perfect in the south of the shire, and the winemaker expected picks for white varieties to wrap up early next week.
He said short heatwaves and warm nights had moved the white pick along substantially and they were a week ahead of schedule compared to last year.
“Next week we’ll be done. We only have a block of semillon we are waiting on,” Mr Wealand said.
“The whites have come up looking good. There are great sugar levels and acid in the fruit this year.”
Mr Wealand said this year was one of the first in which wineries in the region’s southern areas were on picking par with their northern compatriots.
Mr Watson said their pick was also at the same level as last year’s and predicted this vintage would be among the best in recent history.
He expected the team at Woodlands to start picking reds as early as Tuesday and expected their vintage to be wrapped up by the end of March.Mr Wealand said southern wineries were still about three weeks off picking their reds.
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