Orland, which is a division of Pernod Ricard, says that crushing of the season’s first fruit, has begun at its Rowland Flat winery in the South Australia’s Barossa Valley.
It states that the warm Australian summer put winemakers on alert. Careful irrigation and dry spring weather resulting in minimal disease pressure has many winemakers predicting a high quality 2013 vintage.
The first grapes which will be harvested are Chardonnay from Mildura and Riverland, and will be used for Jacob’s Creek’s range of sparkling wines. White table wines will follow in the coming weeks with vintage expected to conclude in approximately three months.
Jacob’s Creek’s chief winemaker, Bernard Hickin, said: “So far, everything is indicating a high quality vintage in 2013. While it’s early days, and the real hard work is still ahead of us, I believe we’ll see some great wines from this year across a number of varietals and regions.
“Like many Australians, our winemakers have been paying keen attention to this summer’s high temperatures. Management of irrigation has been a particularly critical part of this year’s pre-vintage preparation and we’ve been in constant communication with our viticulturists and growers to ensure we’re able to harvest as much healthy, high quality fruit as possible.
“While recent weather has presented challenges, a very dry spring and a dryer than average winter has resulted in very healthy fruit on the vines. I believe this will make wines from 2013 show tremendous concentration of flavours and silky textures."
Hickin also said that vintage was an opportunity for his winemaking team to experiment with newer grapes and styles which are becoming an increasingly important part of the brand’s strategy.
“Over the last few years, Jacob’s Creek has looked at some small quantities of new varietals and winemaking styles – such as biodynamic options and Mediterranean styles such as Vermentino, Negro Amaro, Fiano and this year, an Arneis.
“Vintage is a key time for us to not only produce our current range, but also assess how we can get the most out of the more innovative varietals and styles which we are less familiar with in this country.”