Victoria

YARRA VALLEY

Mild season with below average rainfall, although September to November had more rain. The cool and wet spring conditions disrupted flowering in most of our blocks, reducing yields by more than 50%. Dryer conditions over summer brought warmer days and nights, which proved perfect up to and during vintage. A hail event in early January caused further reductions in our yields with some of our old vines the worst hit. Luckily our quick response and dry conditions ensured no further loses were caused by disease or botrytis. Overall, a tricky vintage but we are thrilled at the quality of the wines in barrel. The small yields coupled with mild conditions have produced wines with depth and flavour while retaining balance through great acidity. A vintage that produced exceptional wines, although there’s little to go around.

Dylan McMahon of Seville Estate

HEATHCOTE

Good winter rains were followed by an extremely cool and mild spring. Growth was slow and flowering occured roughly three weeks later than usual. Stuck caps led to reduced yields and airy bunches. Good rains from October to December, however in the middle of January, the consistent rain stopped. February was drier but not hot, with no more than one week of high temperatures above 38 degrees. Overall the vintage was notable for the absence of extremes: no extreme rain, wind or fire events. A slow start, with reduced crops but warm weather and slow and steady ripening. From a quality perspective, hopes are high with very good acid retention in the grapes at harvest, intense colours and good levels of tannin. Looking forward to seeing the red wines after time in nice oak.  



Western Australia

GREAT SOUTHERN

The 2022 vintage in Frankland River is one to remember, particularly for shiraz and riesling, which are showing impressive complexity and depth of flavour. The incredibly wet winter filled our dams for the first time in several years, and proved to be essential for the long, hot and dry months ahead. With budburst arriving slightly earlier than anticipated, we were expecting an earlier harvest. However, the many hot days of summer slowed the ripening as the vines conserved water, with the luscious canopies protecting the fruit from the sun and providing necessary shade. The long ripening of both reds and whites allowed the fruit to develop intensity and complexity, similar to the years of the early 2000s where harvest began in March and extended to the end of April. No tropical storms meant we had a much-needed gap after the whites, with reds left to hang on the vines as long as possible. It will be a vintage to look forward to, for sure.

Laura Penniment of Alkoomi Wines

ACT,

Canberra DISTIRCT

Vintage 2022 presented perhaps one of the most challenging. The start of the vintage was marred by a violent hailstorm early January with devastating consequences as it decimated premium producing vineyards. Its trail of destruction was heartbreaking for the local vineyards after the mass loss of fruit to smoke taint in 2020 and the challenging harvest conditions in 2021. Affected vineyards were generously supported by surrounding regions (Hilltops, Gundagai and Tumbarumba) who offered their fruit so affected wineries could complete a 2022 vintage.

The continued La Niña weather patterns resulted in a much cooler and wetter growing season (October to April) with the milder temperatures delaying grape-ripening and flavour development. The protracted ripening period exposed the grapes to frequent rain events, allowing downy mildew and botrytis to take a foothold across many vineyards, despite the diligent spray schedules. As a consequence, yield losses were reported across the region, some to very significant levels.

McKellar Ridge Estate estimated 30- 50% yield loss across all vineyard varieties of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, tempranillo and chardonnay. Our cabernet sauvignon struggled to reach the usual level of ripeness, so was harvested end of April to make a Provence-style rosé. To supplement production, we procured excellent shiraz from Hilltops and look forward to offering shiraz from two different regions.

Despite a smaller production, the wines from this vintage are aromatic, fruity and of good quality, just a little leaner. With grapes picked at a slightly lower Baume and higher acidity, people will find our Canberra V22 wines are a little lighter in style but exceedingly elegant and food-friendly.

Marina and John Sekoranja of McKellar Ridge Wines

South Australia

BAROSSA VALLEY

Vintage was somewhat of a rollercoaster for some and smooth sailing for others. A severe hail storm hit parts of the Barossa and extended through to Eden Valley in late October. Golf ball-sized hail in part of western Barossa for close to 4 minutes soon after budburst created a challenging start. Strong winds during flowering also caused some issues, however decent rainfall leading up to spring and summer meant soil moisture profiles were full. December to February saw perfect ripening temperatures with some of the most consistent weather the Barossa has seen for some time. This meant harvest came 2-3 weeks later than last year and with a mild summer to follow, some would say it was quite drawn out. Acids seem to be the stand-out this year with perfect balance once optimum ripeness was achieved. 

Sam Pfeiffer of Whistler Wines

Howard Vineyard.

MCLAREN VALE

The second cooler than usual season in a row for McLaren Vale. Yields were generally lower this year due to unfavourable weather during flowering, and a cold and windy mid-spring. We were fortunate to avoid frost and hail damage experienced in other parts of SA. The cooler conditions contributed to a lower percentage of berry set and final yield. Summer was mild with no days above 40 degrees. Veraison was late and, with a cooler summer, meant a long ripening period with good acid retention and excellent flavour development. The mild summer allowed for longer phenological ripeness on the vine, leading to balanced acid levels and soft tannin profiles. The 2022 vintage wines are flavoursome and well structured. Varietal highlights include fiano, shiraz, grenache and cabernet sauvignon.

Melissa Brown of Gemtree Wines

Tasmania

TAMAR VALLEY

2022 will be regarded as a terrific season in the Tamar Valley, but it was not without the usual challenges that we have come to expect from a cool-climate growing area. It was a cool and damp start to the season leading to a late budburst and occasional frost. The tricky season continued through flowering with the chardonnay getting the best conditions. As we rolled into 2022, the sun came out and conditions through veraison and up to harvest were above average, warm and sunny. Chardonnay bunches were consistent and on about average yield while the pinot noir bunches were light and thus below average. Quality across both were exceptional for sparkling and table wines. A vintage to remember and to look out for in the coming years!