Cofield Wines’ new vintage has commenced roughly one week earlier than last year.
The hotter than average summer that Rutherglen has experienced is one reason, but not the only likely reason that it has been brought forward.
Damien Cofield, owner of Cofield Wines in Rutherglen, also attributes an early onset of flavour for the early start.
“Often we are waiting for flavour to develop, which can lead to later picking times, but can also lead to higher grape sugar levels accumulating while we wait, so it is pleasing to see some promising flavour at sensible grape sugar levels,” he said.
“At this stage we have 250 tonnes of grapes on the books to come in.
“We haven’t picked any yet so we don’t know what the crops are going to be like but we have our fingers crossed that the heat hasn’t diminished the crops to any great extent.”
The first grapes that will be processed will be chardonnay – destined for their non-vintage chardonnay pinot noir sparkling wine, which will be picked in the early hours of Friday, February 1, and arrive into the winery at around 6am.
“It is still early days, but despite what the vineyards have gone through for the last month or so, the season looks promising,” Cofield said.
Mr Cofield expects the first of his vintages wines to be bottled in May which will be just in time to be released for the region’s biggest event – the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout.