Hunter Valley 2018 grape harvest gets underway

HARVEST BEGINS: Head winemaker Liz Silkman watching as a load of grapes are tipped into a hopper at First Creek Wines on Tuesday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
HARVEST BEGINS: Head winemaker Liz Silkman watching as a load of grapes are tipped into a hopper at First Creek Wines on Tuesday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

One of the Hunter Valley’s earliest-ever grape harvests is underway.

Picking started last week for the early ripening whites, and winemakers now have their fingers crossed for a few more weeks of decent weather.

First Creek Wines head winemaker Liz Silkman said after Monday night’s rainfall, a few more hot, windy days would be ideal, to relieve the grapes of disease pressure.

With thousands of tonnes of grapes already trucked into the Pokolbin winery, Silkman said this season’s harvest is showing great promise.

“It’s really early, but the grapes are looking fantastic,” she said.

Silkman said it’s the earliest vintage she’s ever worked on, with picking starting on January 5 in their Upper Hunter vineyards.

The first 10 days of vintage will be a 24-hour operation for First Creek, which makes wine for more than 20 producers around the state.

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