Waiting game for harvest

A little delay, but vignerons positive about grape quantity and quality
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AS the mercury was on the rise yesterday Katherine Brown from Brown Brothers Wines escaped the heat to take a sip of chilled rosé in the winery’s air conditioned barrel room. “It’s perfect for this weather,” Katherine said of the wine. “It’s thirst quenching with hints of watermelon and fresh strawberry.” Brown Brothers, like other North East wineries, are still waiting to start the annual grape harvest which has been delayed due to cooler, wetter conditions through spring and early summer. PHOTO Emma Hillier

IT’S a waiting game for local vignerons as they prepare themselves for this year’s grape harvest.

The wetter than usual conditions in late spring and early summer had delayed the harvest by a few weeks with predictions of a mid-February start.

Brown Brothers of Milawa is one exception with their first crush to start on Monday but with grapes from their Mystic Park vineyards near Swan Hill.

Katherine Brown, winemaker at Brown Brothers, said it was just a matter of time for the local grapes to ripen.

“Rutherglen will start to get their fruit in next week but it could be another 10 days or two weeks in the King Valley,” Ms Brown said.

The delay is not a major concern for vignerons, Ms Brown said, as the more time the fruit spends on the vine the better although extreme heat conditions are not ideal.

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