2018 Vintage Snapshot: Tasmania
East Coast Tasmania received 16% of its normal winter rainfall, and barely onethird of its average spring rainfall. A cold start in spring was followed by warming, with flowering occurring quickly under ideal conditions. Well-formed bunches with no hen-and-chicken resulted in moderate to high yields. The rain stayed away until the first week of December, with 115mm of rain, followed by 20mm more not long after. Summer continued warm overall with a cool spell in February, following 31mm of rain at the end of January. Despite the higher yields, all varieties ripened earlier than usual, with excellent flavour intensity, ideal baumes and soft acidities. It seems quite possible the year will disprove the view that high yields are incompatible with high quality
Northern Tasmania followed the pattern of the East Coast, with a high yielding year for most producers. The standout varieties are chardonnay and pinot noir, but it’s probable that all varieties in all areas will perform well.
Southern Tasmania also followed suit, with a cold start, then spring rapidly warming up, with no frost threats, and perfect weather for flowering (warm and dry). Apart from some early December rainfall, summer was dry and temperatures mild. Expectations are for an excellent year for chardonnay, and a good year for pinot noir.