Oakover Vineyard in the Swan Valley, Western Australia, is today (3 January) starting its earliest-ever harvest of Verdelho and Semillon.

Vineyard manager Matthew Trent says that an unusually warm and dry winter in 2019 brought about an early budburst in the Swan Valley vineyards.

“This led to some of the earliest flowering we have ever seen, with some blocks starting in late September,” he says.

“While this harvest is our earliest, the length of time between the early flowering and harvest remains on par with a standard season.”

Matthew says that the unseasonably hot days in November actually slowed the ripening process down.

Oakover Vineyards also utilises sprawl-style canopy management which provides protection from the heat experienced so far and the berries are in pristine condition.

Oakover winemaker Dan Charter says, “We are excited by the quality of fruit harvested today, suggesting a strong vintage for us which we expect to peak with reds coming on stream in February.”

Photo: Matthew Trent with newly-harvested Semillon vines.

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