2017 Vintage Report

2017 Vintage Report for Limestone Coast and its Regions;

prepared by Ulrich Grey-Smith, Executive Officer, LCGWC.

The Limestone Coast GIZ vintage report includes the regions of Coonawarra, Padthaway, Wrattonbully, Mt Benson, Robe & Mt Gambier.  

There is a 3 degree C difference from Northern LSC to Southern LSC [*] and times for bud-burst, flowering, veraison & harvest vary accordingly.

 Each year a series of informal “hall tastings” are held in the weeks after harvest, where winemakers bring tank samples and compare new vintage wines.  This is where an early indication of seasonal quality, potential and longevity can be gleaned.  These tastings were in late May 2017.

Winter & bud-burst – higher than average rainfall during winter and early spring, with some soil profiles approaching field capacity.  Strong vine canopies were realized with mild September temperatures with minimal frosts reported.

Flowering – cool to mild temperatures with isolated rains – windy in places.

Veraison – was later than in recent years, but in line with the 30 year average date.  Veraison was mid-late February in Padthaway and Bordertown, and early to mid March for Wrattonbully and Coonawarra. Late March for Mt Benson, Robe and Mt Gambier.

Ripening period (& harvest) – the seven weeks leading to harvest were cool to cold and dry with significant rain for all regions albeit isolated in nature. The Bonney Upwelling, as in most years, cooled the night-time vineyard temperatures, helping develop stable flavours and tannins.  Winemakers were able to commence harvest with lower grape-sugar concentrations, with good parcels harvested before or at Easter before the season break.  A number of vineyards were not harvested.

New White Wines – fragrant, fresh with good acidity and textures, very good vintage.

New Red Wines – bright colours and hues. fine tannin structure with balanced acid.  Red and black fruit with some leafy notes, typical of cooler vintages.

VineHealth Australia publish vintage harvest figures by region. 

* Growing season temperature [GST]