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2005 Southern Hemisphere Harvest

Reason for excitement in every country

Posted: June 15, 2005

While U.S. and European winemakers were dreaming about their summer vacations, their Southern Hemisphere colleagues were busy completing crush earlier this year. Now they've had time to evaluate what's in their barrels and tanks and report back to us.

What did the 2005 vintage bring? Argentina saw cooler temperatures than in recent years, and Chilean vintners enjoyed consistently good weather in contrast to the erratic growing season of 2004. Australian winegrowers outpaced last year's record crop while achieving remarkably high quality. New Zealand's harvest wasn't as big as last year's but may be better in terms of quality for the whites. South African winemakers said the harvest was very good, if not the easiest, for both reds and whites.

Below are links to full reports of what to expect from the 2005 vintage in major wine regions throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America.

After three hot, dry vintages, Argentina vintners got a respite, with more normal temperatures. Variable weather affected early-ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Merlot. Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are the standouts.

Winemakers believe the vintage may be better than 2002, perhaps the best in 30 years. Plus the mild growing season resulted in a record crop. South Australians were particularly excited about Cabernet.

A consistently long, moderate growing season benefited all the major winegrowing valleys and all the key grape varieties, from Sauvignon Blanc to Carmenère.

New Zealand
Winemakers were more enthusiastic about the quality in 2005 than they were last year, especially for Sauvignon Blanc, as the smaller crop contributed to greater flavor concentration.

South Africa
The vintage was marked by hot, dry conditions that produced small crops of concentrated red grapes. Whites were brought in earlier under cooler conditions, with more variability.

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