The 2017 Hunter Valley vintage has officially begun after the first lot of grapes came off the vines at Tyrrell’s Wines on Friday.
Tyrrell’s started to pick their premium chardonnay sparkling on Friday morning, after 10 days of keeping a close eye on the vines.
Managing director Bruce Tyrrell said he expected the harvest to start a bit later than this, but he said the recent heat had brought the process forward.
“Nature goes before superstition,” he said.
Ten tonnes of grapes were taken off today, and the early results have left Mr Tyrrell very pleased.
He said the sparkling had 10 per cent alcohol content and 10 grams per litre of acidity.
“What we picked today is exactly what we want,” he said.
“We couldn’t be happier.”
More grapes will be picked on Sunday and Monday, with testing to be done on Monday and Tuesday.
Mr Tyrrell made an early prediction that if current conditions continue, the 2017 vintage would be a success.
“If the weather stays dry then we’ll get a very, very good vintage,” he said.
“It’s up to us now to make the right choices.”
The grape picking started at Andrew Thomas Wines on January 5 for the winery’s verjuice, which is made from under-ripe semillon grapes.
Andrew Thomas said they would start picking grapes for their wine later this month.