Wine vintage 2020 seems set to sparkle

Tari JeffersSouth Western Times
Willow Bridge Estate owner Jeff Dewar and winemaker Kim Horton show off some of their fruitful bounty from their 2020 vintage.
Camera IconWillow Bridge Estate owner Jeff Dewar and winemaker Kim Horton show off some of their fruitful bounty from their 2020 vintage. Credit: South Western Times

Winemakers in the region are raising a glass to celebrate a bumper crop of fruit this season.

A dry summer and warm spring has led to disease-free fruit ahead of schedule for St Aidan Wines.

Owner Mary Smith said the 2020 vintage wines would be fantastic.

“We started harvest nearly three weeks ago for sparkling wine,” she said. “We’re two to two and a half weeks early because of the warm spring.”

Mrs Smith also predicted, due to the red wine grapes’ development, the 2020 red wines St Aidan red wines would would be “fairly alcoholic reds”.

St Aidan Wines is expected to harvest between 20 and 25 tonnes of grapes this season.

“There has been no complications, it’s been a dream season,” Mrs Smith said.

Willow Bridge Estate winemaker Kim Horton said Bunbury’s December average temperature was 3C above average, which led to harvesting starting in January.

“This season we’re down on yield due to December’s heat, it was almost a heatwave,” he said.

“At that point it was a bit worrying, but since then, January was cooler and the fruit was really good quality.

“The blossoms on the marri trees have kept the birds off the vines, so we have no damage.”

Mr Horton said, based on other winemakers in the region he had spoken with, South West producers were doing really well this season.

He said he felt for producers in other States who had to deal with smoke and drought.

Capel Vale Winery lab assistant Zofja Urbanski said the winery’s harvest season started just after Australia Day.

“We source our grapes from as far as Mount Barker and Margaret River, as well as on site, and we have lower yields but a more intense fruit,” she said.

“The cabernet in Margaret River will be the last we pick and that will be around Easter.

“We believe it’s going to be a really good vintage, we’re getting really good juice from the fruit.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails