Canberra 2018 – another trouble-free vintage

Mount Majura vigneron Frank van de Loo welcomes another trouble-free Canberra vintage. Located about 100km inland with vineyard altitudes between about 550 metres and 860 metres, the volume of the district’s harvest varies widely across any given decade. Frost, wind, hail, and sustained cold weather have all at times reduced the region’s harvest and at times wine quality.

But as vintage gets underway for earlier ripening varieties, clear blue skies, warm days and cool nights – following a generally benign growing season – means ample crops of ripe, disease-free grapes in 2018.

Most reds remain on the vine with harvest due to commence in the next few weeks. Picking of riesling, the district’s signature white variety, is imminent in some parts of the region. The vintage will likely stretch into April or even May for some varieties and sites.

Mount Majura Vineyard’s Frank van de Loo with pinot gris grapes, Friday 9 March 2018. He’ll chill the grapes overnight before they’re crushed and fermented.
Mount Majura’s clean, ripe pinot gris. Note the distinctive colours. Now you know why there’s sometimes a blush of pink or grey in wines made from the variety.

© Copyright Chris Shanahan 2018. Published 9 March 2018.