GRAPE OUTLOOK: Symphony Hill has been busy harvesting grapes for the upcoming vintage.
GRAPE OUTLOOK: Symphony Hill has been busy harvesting grapes for the upcoming vintage. contributed

Winemaker presents to SA seminar as harvest continues

THE Granite Belt has long been building its reputation as a hotspot for alternative wine varieties.

Symphony Hill winemaker Mike Hayes recently shone a light on the region at the annual regional seminar on South Australia's Limestone Coast.

"It was a huge honour to be invited," Mr Hayes said.

"I presented on alternative varieties and recommended alternative varieties to be planted in that region."

He said this was an opportunity to highlight the great work Granite Belt winemakers had been undertaking in branching away from mainstream varieties.

"The scale of the Granite Belt's alternative varieties has now spread to other regions," he said.

"It's a credit to the Granite Belt because of what they've achieved with alternative varieties.

"It's absolutely fantastic."

While many farms around the district struggle in the recent hot weather, Mr Hayes said the vineyards were still looking spectacular and harvest was well under way.

Particularly over the recent record-breaking weekend, where temperatures reached 39.7°C, growers were focused on keeping the vines well-watered and nourished.

"They do like it hot and dry," he said.

While he'd already claimed 2016 could have been the best vintage in decades, he said things were looking promising for 2017.

"It's looking absolutely exceptional," he said.

He said the recently harvested Baumes was looking particularly good.

"The natural acidity is delightful and it's a beautifully balanced flavour," Mr Hayes said.

Stanthorpe Border Post


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