The Australian state of New South Wales is now 100% in drought, officials say, but winemakers are confident for a high quality 2018 vintage.
This year Southern Australia saw the second-driest autumn on record, according to government statistics, with rainfall 57mm below average. However, the grape harvest finished in April/May, with many producers reporting that the dry weather conditions helped to produce grapes with concentration and intensity.
Speaking to the drinks business, Lisa Bennier, business manager of the Wine Grape Council of South Australia, said that “the longer warm, sunny conditions of the ripening days and cool nights has made the quality exceptional”.
However, producers are now being urged to look ahead to the 2019 vintage, with Wine Australia offering advice on irrigation and fertiliser use to help recover drought-damaged vines.