2017 Vintage Snapshot: Tasmania
Tasmania has much to sing about in 2017 with all three major districts telling a roughly similar tale.
Northern Tasmania set the pattern, with higher than average rainfall in winter and spring prompting faster than usual growth, although temperatures remained a bit below average. As summer arrived the rain disappeared, but temperatures were still cooler than average. Late March weather was the warmest of the year – ideal for ripening. Yields are a little down with poor weather during flowering. The standout varieties are pinot noir, chardonnay and riesling. The overall quality is good to excellent.
East Coast Tasmania had near-identical weather, with only two days above 30 ̊C. The cool conditions delayed harvest by 10–12 days. The cooler weather, however, has led to remarkable flavour intensity in chardonnay, riesling and sauvignon blanc, while pinot noir has noticeably more colour intensity than the 2016 wines – the flavour is excellent.
Southern Tasmania reported more of the same, although a very dry period from summer through to mid-autumn required vigilance in managing irrigation. Yields were moderate overall, but all the indications promise high quality across the board.