Jacob's Creek predicts 'high quality' 2013 vintage

By Carol Emmas January 14, 2013
Australian wine brand Jacob's Creek has begun its 2013 vintage with early reports from winemakers predicting high-quality wines despite recent hot conditions.

While the warm Australian summer has put winemakers on alert, careful irrigation and dry spring weather has resulted in minimal disease for the producer.

Crushing of the season's first fruit began at its Rowland Flat winery in the Barossa Valley. Chardonnay from Mildura and Riverland are the first grapes to be harvested for its sparkling wine range, with white table wines to follow. The vintage is expected to conclude in three months.

Bernard Hickin, Jacob's Creek's chief winemaker, said its winemakers have been paying close attention to the high temperatures with management of irrigation a critical part of pre-vintage preparation to ensure as healthy fruit as possible.

"So far, everything is indicating a high quality vintage in 2013. While it's early days, and the real hard work is still ahead of us, I believe we'll see some great wines from this year across a number of varietals and regions," he said.

He added: "While recent weather has presented challenges, a very dry spring and a dryer than average winter has resulted in very healthy fruit on the vines. I believe this will make wines from 2013 show tremendous concentration of flavours and silky textures.

Hickin said his winemaking team will also be experimenting with newer grapes and styles which are becoming an increasingly important part of the brand's strategy, such as biodynamics and Mediterranean styles like Vermentino, Negro Amaro, Fiano and, this year, Arneis.

"Vintage is a key time for us to not only produce our current range, but also assess how we can get the most out of the more innovative varietals and styles that we are less familiar with in this country," said Hickin.