Vignerons in the Mt Barker wine region have started harvest early, but still expect full flavours, great sugar and acid balance to come from this season’s vintages.
Warmer weather since December last year matured the vines quickly, with harvesting starting about 10 days ahead of schedule.
The 2013 vintage is also expected to be harvested quicker than in previous years.
Last year, harvesting commenced in early March and ended mid-April.
Chatsfield Wines director Kim Parker has begun harvesting two weeks earlier than in 2012.
“We are pretty happy with this year’s harvest,” he said.
“We had such a warm year in 2012, but it doesn’t make the slightest difference in quality, we are going to have an excellent vintage.”
West Cape Howe Wines viticulturist Glen Harding said each year brought different outcomes.
“This may be comparable with the 2007 vintage in the early start we are having and the potential for overlapping of red and white varieties, which in itself is challenging for both vineyards and winery staff,” he said.
Mr Harding is expecting yields on white wine grapes to be down 20–30 per cent, while yields for red grapes will be steady.
Mt Barker produces 37 per cent of wine grapes grown in WA, making it a hub for wine production.