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Mornington Peninsula vintage report released

According to Mornington Peninsula Wine, the 2024 vintage season kicked off with promising conditions, but as it progressed, vineyards encountered a series of hurdles that tested winemakers’ skills and resilience.

Starting from September to November, the season showed signs of stability with consistent weather patterns and persistent cloud cover. This period helped moderate evening temperatures, setting a favourable stage for the grapes to develop.

However, the situation took a turn in December and January when heavy rainfall, peaking at 70mm, coincided with the critical flowering period, posing significant challenges to vineyard management.

The report revealed Vineyards situated downhill initially fared better compared to those uphill, which struggled with the wet and humid conditions. This led to widespread occurrences of downy mildew and, notably, small patches of bacterial inflorescence necrosis, presenting unusual challenges for growers.

Main Ridge and other higher elevation vineyards suffered notable yield losses due to these compounded pressures. In contrast, regions like Tuerong, Balnarring, Moorooduc, and lower, more northerly vineyards managed to maintain decent yields and concentration, showcasing the variability of conditions across the region.

Following the challenging period in December and January, a seven-week dry spell commenced at veraison. This extended period without rain, coupled with two significant heat events, resulted in high levels of titratable acidity (TA) and pH in the grapes, which proved rewarding for winemakers.

Despite the heat events accelerating ripening and compressing the vintage into a shorter, more intense period, reports of crop damage remained minimal. The pressure to expedite harvest contributed to exceptional colour, intensity, and pleasing flavour profiles in the grapes, Mornington Peninsula Wine reported.

Harvest occurred approximately two weeks earlier than usual, around February 16th, compared to the typical start date of March 1st.

Mornington Peninsula Wine reported Chardonnay exhibited exceptional quality, with Pinot Noir adding layers and complexity to the vintage. Other red varietals progressed at their usual pace, with expectations of being in tanks by mid-April.

Overall, wineries with vineyards spread across the region experienced mitigated risk, highlighting the importance of diversification in managing vintage and climate challenges.

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