New World celebrates 2010 as one of finest ever vintages

02 April, 2010

Mother nature has kept yields in check in Australia, South Africa and South America this year while New Zealand’s growers have actively pruned back vines to avoid over-supply.

It’s quality not quantity as the wine regions of the southern hemisphere bring in their 2010 crop. In Australia, the harvest has proved to be considerably easier than in 2009. “We’re very happy with quality; it is a very different feeling to 2009’s horrendous heat and bushfires,” said Leanne de Bortoli in Yarra Valley.

Ben Glaetzer, winemaker of the Barossa Valley, Langhorne Creek, Limestone Coast and McLaren Vale, added: “I’m looking forward to the London wine fair. I’ll pack some 2010 whites and a few reds to give an early snapshot of what is proving to be one of the finest vintages across the board.”?In the Cape the vintage has been more challenging after strong winds affected flowering and “stop-start ripening” tested winemaking teams. Good fruit concentration and acidity shows in varieties such as Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc.

For Chile, thankfully the harvest started more than a week later than last year due to a cool spring, allowing wine producers to recover from the recent earthquake.

According to Cono Sur winemaker Adolfo Hurtado, yields are down 10%-15% in colder areas of Casablanca, San Antonio and Bío-Bío, but he’s upbeat on quality: “The harvest looks great at the moment. I think the lower temperatures and smaller crop will give us a good result,” he said.

In New Zealand the harvest moved into full swing this week as Marborough Sauvignon comes in. “Overall everything is looking good, but there is still a long way to go,” said Philip Gregan, chief executive of New Zealand Winegrowers.

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