Wineries ready to celebrate

Daniel Pinelli, Martin Buck, Julie Church and Deb Tucker warm up for end of vintage at Pinelli Winery.
Daniel Pinelli, Martin Buck, Julie Church and Deb Tucker warm up for end of vintage at Pinelli Winery.

Vignerons are wrapping up a tumultuous two-month process of checking sugar, acid and tannin levels of grapes, then picking, crushing and turning them into premium wine.

But this weekend they celebrate.

The season has been marked by extended mild weather and early starts to the picking season.

Over at Olive Farm Wines last week, owner Anthony Yurisich was getting the last of the red varieties off the vine.

‘We just picked Cabernet, Petit Verdot, and a new one called Durif,’ he said.

‘That Durif is one that’s going to kick-ass in the Swan Valley. It’s out second vintage. Pinelli is also growing it and it’ll be the thing to look for when visiting.’

Unlike its European counterparts, the Swan Valley has fairly predictable seasons that do not vary vastly from vintage to vintage.

‘We had a good spring, which meant a really good growing season for the grape vines with very few disease problems,’ Mr Yurisich said.

‘A mild December meant we also had mild, slow ripening which is really good for the fruit.’

‘There was a bit of a hiccup with the rain a few weeks ago but from what we’ve seen that hasn’t done anything to the grapes.’

‘The white wines are showing great fruit aromas and richness on the palate, while the red wines are really dark-coloured and once again really full-flavoured and full-bodied.’

‘We’re happy because it’s a better than average year in the valley from our point of view.’

That happiness will be shared with thousands of guests this weekend as a raft of the region’s wineries host special events to celebrate the end of vintage.

There are more than 40 wineries to choose from in the Swan Valley and about 43 per cent of the visitors come to the region for wine tasting.

The Swan Valley has a Croatian influence that puts it alongside other ethnically driven wine-producing regions in Australia, like the German-influenced Barossa Valley and the Italian-influenced Riverland.

To find out what events are on in the Swan Valley this weekend, visit swanvalleywinemakers.|