Vintage 2021 is here in Queensland’s heart of warm climate winemaking, Moffatdale, in the South Burnett Geographic Indication (GI). Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith shares his experience of witnessing the first harvest of the 2021 season in the South Burnett Wine Region at Lightning Tree, Moffatdale. Lightning Tree Wines vigneron Peter Stewart is the proud owner of the verdelho vineyard featured above, ready to harvest its vintage.
Producer Lightning Tree Wines First Harvest #v21
Peter Stewart, Lightning Tree Wines owner, quips:
“We have very contrasting verdelho harvest dates; this year 4 January, last year 23 December (2019), several years ago it was late January — the vagaries of climate change are borne out”.
The first pick of vintage 2021 is a small team effort — Clovely Estate’s contract mechanical harvester trundled down the verdelho vines yesterday morning at 5 am. Owner Peter Stewart, a local viticulture professional from Lightning Tree vineyard at 167 Tipperary Road, surveyed his beautifully clean berries.
Verdelho thriving in the South Burnett Geographic Indication (GI)
In this part of the wine world, the sub-region of Moffatdale in the South Burnett Geographic Indication (GI), verdelho is the go-to white variety. These vines make a great contrast in a sub-tropical estate of rolling green hills, Ironbark ridges and straw-brown fence lines.
A variety with origins in the Portuguese island of Madeira, it likes the hot and dry, and in rare bouts of rain (currently in five years of drought), the vine canopy dries out and presents great fruit for harvest.
And for the winemakers around, Peter Scudamore-Smith reports,
“Baume 12.25, pH 3.15, titratable acidity, 7.8 grams per litre, dominant pine and lime flavours.”
“By the sound of this, we need to taste this very soon. I have booked my tasting sample and I see my colleague at qwinereviews has done likewise.
“So I am witnessing my 24th vintage in the South Burnett Wine Region.”