A Late Start to Harvest in 2019

It has been a late start to harvest in the Margaret River Wine Region, due to cooler spring and summer weather conditions. 

Since August 2018, temperatures in the Margaret River region have been slightly cooler than annual averages recorded in the region between 2010 and 2018. This is in stark contrast to weather patterns recorded in other states’ wine regions, most of which experienced warmer climates/heat waves at the beginning of this year. 

Due to this temperature decrease, the 2019 vintage has started in late February, two to three weeks later than normal for most wineries in the Margaret River region. 

Margaret River Wine Association Chief Executive Officer Amanda Whiteland says it is expected the 2019 Margaret River Wine Region harvest would end in late April-early May. 

“The climate differential emulates similar circumstances experienced during the 2017 vintage, when harvest began late February and ended late April,” Ms Whiteland says. “The mild, cooler weather experienced during late 2018 has been quite beneficial for ripening, and the heavy rain incident in January 2019 was very timely due to the later season, recharging the soil water and setting the vineyards up nicely. 

“Yields are looking lower than last year but with diligent vineyard management, such as green thinning, Margaret River’s ability to produce a consistent high-quality vintage can be assured.” 

Voyager Estate Winemaking and Viticulture Manager Steve James says: “We are very happy with the Chardonnay fruit that we are currently harvesting." 

"This recent spell of nice warm weather has really moved things along quite significantly. The temperatures, whilst not hot, have been very conducive to high functioning of the grapevine and, I believe we are on track for another excellent season.” 

Fogarty Group Head Viticulturist John Fogarty says: "We have seen great quality in whites so far, with flavour building in most varieties quite early due to the mild longer ripening season. Chardonnay has had great sugar and acid balance this season, while reds are building flavour and ripening with some pace behind the whites." 

(Image - Voyager Estate Vineyard)