A catastrophic red harvest in Australia's Hunter Valley means two major wineries will bottle no red wines this year.
Leading producer Tyrrell’s has revealed it will not be bottling any 2008 reds while Hope Estate looks likely to declassify its red harvest too.
Bruce Tyrrell, owner of Tyrrell’s, estimates the crop loss represents around 20,000 cases, amounting to AUD$400,000.
The 2008 red vintage was ruined by rain and rot although white varieties were less affected.
‘The reds were about 10 baume when the grapes’ skins collapsed so there will be no Hunter red from us,’ Tyrrell said, There will be some who bottle but we have worked too long and too hard to bottle rubbish.’
Michael Hope, owner of Hope Estate said, ‘At this stage we look like we are intending to declassify 2008 and go straight on to the 2009 vintage.
‘We ripened about one-quarter of the crop and have put it into oak to see whether we will bottle a small parcel from 2008. But the 2009 is looking brilliant so that makes it easier to make the decision,’ he added
It is thought the devastating 2008 harvest has forced many part-time growers in the region to leave the industry.
Written by Rebecca Gibb