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Early grape harvest thanks for unseasonal weather

Thursday January 9, 2014 - 06:46 EDT
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Hunter Valley wine makers say they have started the annual harvest earlier than ever. - ABC

Wine producers in the Hunter Valley are blaming unseasonal weather last year for an early start to the harvest.

Machine harvesting got underway at Andrew's Margan's Broke vineyard yesterday.

He has been making wine for 36 years and says the yield came two weeks early.

He says a warm winter last year led to an early bud burst and flowering.

"This is probably the earliest I've ever picked," he said.

"Everything this year for the harvest has been operating about two weeks early.

"A warm, moderately warm winter, and as a result we had early bud burst, early flowering and we're picking early as well."

He says initial signs are looking fruitful.

"We're looking at one of the best harvests we've seen in a long time."

Mike De luliis from the Hunter Valley Wine Tourism Association says early yields are not the only trend.

"The harvest itself is starting to condense," he said.

"We're seeing a lot more of the whites and red getting a lot closer."

He says the harvest period has dropped from eight to six weeks.


© ABC 2014

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