Bad weather hammers Barossa harvest

Bad weather has pushed down yields in Barossa Valley, with harvests said to be the lowest in 10 years.

According to a report by Australian journal Financial Review, local experts say the harvest for 2019 vintage could be down as much as 50% compared with last year’s 78,000 tonnes in Barossa, due to frost and hail damage.

The region was hit by a dry winter last year, then frosts in September and November, followed by hailstorms in late November before extreme heat enveloped the region in the first two months of this year.

The adverse climate is expected to have affected production at many wineries including the country’s leading wine giant, Treasury Wine Estates and its Penfolds brand.

“It will be the lowest-yielding vintage in the last decade. There’s not much anyone can do about frost and hail,” Barossa Grape & Wine Association viticulture development officer Nicki Robins was quoted as saying.

Commenting on the low yields in Barossa, a spokesperson for TWE commented: “We are still feeling really good about the overall vintage in Australia. While some regions might be below the prior year’s vintage, there are other regions for us that are well above the prior year vintage.”

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