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Tyrrell’s to cut 80% of 2020 crop

Australian wine producer Tyrrell’s has said it has decided to “severely” reduce its 2020 vintage, by as much as 80%, due to fears of smoke taint.

Although not directly affected by the serious fires in Australia, the “continued presence of smoke” in the Hunter Valley since late 2019 means that many of the vineyards may have been affected by smoke taint.

The producer said in a statement that it had been working in partnership with the Australian Wine Research Institute and Dr Ian Porter of La Trobe University to check for smoke taint and conducting micro-ferments in its own laboratory.

This, it said, “has led us to the decision that most of our vineyards will not be harvested for wine production”. The total crop loss is estimated at 80%.

The statement went on: “The impact of smoke taint is not universal across the region. The Hunter Valley is a large geographical area and there were many factors to consider when making this decision including proximity to the fires, elevation of vineyards, and days in contact with fresh smoke.

“This decision has been our own and reinforces our premium quality standing in the world of fine wine. As with any other year, any wine that we do bottle from the 2020 vintage will only be of a standard that the family deem befitting of our 162 year legacy.”

The grapes that will not be used for wine will instead be turned into mulch and feed for cattle on the property.

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