You undoubtedly heard about the wildfires that burned homes and threatened vineyards in Santa Barbara County recently.
Well, the news was even worse for grape growers in Australia’s Hunter Valley, where a vast majority of the 2008 red winegrape crop was lost. Here’s a report from Decanter…
A catastrophic red harvest in Australia’s Hunter Valley means two major wineries will bottle no red wines this year.
Leading producer Tyrrell’s has revealed it will not be bottling any 2008 reds, while Hope Estate looks likely to declassify its red harvest.
Bruce Tyrrell, owner of Tyrrell’s, estimates the crop loss represents around 20,000 cases.
The 2008 red vintage was ruined by rain and rot, while white varieties were less affected.
“We ripened about one-quarter of the crop and have put it into oak to see whether we will bottle a small parcel from 2008,” said Michael Hope, owner of Hope Estate. “But the 2009 is looking brilliant, so that makes it easier to make the decision (to declassify the 2008).”
The devastating 2008 harvest reportedly has forced many part-time growers in the region to leave the industry.
The wine clubs of Vinesse have featured bottlings from both Tyrrell’s and Hope Estate in the past, and we wish our friends at those two wineries all the best as they recover from one of the most challenging harvest seasons on record.