Smaller yield but a sweeter harvest?
WET weather through the grape flowering season will see a lower harvest than usual this year, but for at least one local that isn’t a bad thing.
Local growers are gearing up for the harvest, due to start next month, and while a cooler summer has benefitted the crop, the yield was set before then.
Jack Doeven, who with wife Lois grows 11 hectares of grapes at Drumborg for the likes of Seppelt Wines, Hentyfarm, Santa and D’Sas, Lethbridge Wines and Basalt, said late November was the key.
“We had a whole week of quite bad weather,” he said.
“It chopped our crop back a little more than would’ve been ideal.”
With flowering taking about two weeks, every day was crucial and with half of those days not warm enough, the fate of the crop was set.
“It needs to be 18 degrees,” Mr Doeven said.
“Lower than that (the plant) will drop berries off or you get small seedless berries.”
However, the Doevens aren’t unhappy with the likely reduced yield of about 70-80 tonnes, down from 110-120 tonnes last year.