Compared with 2000, the second vintage of the new millennium was much kinder to winemakers in the Southern Hemisphere, who recently wrapped up their harvests.
Last year, vintners were challenged by weather extremes that ranged from unseasonably cool spring temperatures to prolonged heat waves to harvest rains. But this year, many top wine regions experienced generally good weather, with a hot, dry summer that kept yields down and quality high. Red wines in particular seem to have benefited from good concentration in the smaller grapes.
Following are links to full reports of what to expect from the 2000
vintage in major wine regions throughout Australia, New Zealand, South
Africa and South America.
The 2001 harvest is expected to reach a record total for the country, and the overall quality of the wines looks far superior to last year's. In South Australia's top wine regions -- the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Coonawarra -- reds such as Shiraz and Cabernet are showing rich colors and flavors.
The 2001 vintage actually has two stories for this island country: The southern wine regions reaped good quantity and excellent quality, while the north yielded light crops. Marlborough and Martinborough fared particularly well with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir -- the regions' signature varieties, respectively.
The 2001 vintage in South Africa's vineyards concluded with the smallest crop harvested in 14 years, despite increased vineyard plantings. Overall, wine quality in the Cape region appears to be substantially higher than in recent years, though Chardonnay yields were down dramatically.
Most of the major wine regions in Chile and Argentina experienced a hot, dry summer, though Argentina's Mendoza region was hit by some harvest rain and hail. Yields were down and the grapes were small, leading to good concentration in reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Malbec.
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