Mudgee's 2017 vintage report »

Overall a very good vintage for the region

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Hard at Work Crushing Grapes at the Footcrush Festival

Hard at Work Crushing Grapes at the Footcrush Festival [©Robert Stein Wines]

Mudgee Wine Glasses and Canape, Mudgee Food & Drink Trail
Rustic cellar door in Mudgee, NSW


The stars of 2017 in Mudgee include riesling, semillon, shiraz, merlot and the region’s alternative varieties.

Optimum ripeness was seen in all varieties this vintage with the region very excited with the wines now in the cellars. It was the fourth consecutive vintage with excellent fruit and wine quality in the region.

Looking back on the season, a very wet winter in Mudgee was welcomed with 261mm of rain recorded. This was followed by rain in spring (a further 330mm) proving challenging for some lower vineyard sites.

The high rainfall meant grapevine canopies were large and most needed adjustment. High yields also required thinning to create vine balance. There was some Downy and Powdery Mildew pressure with chardonnay particularly affected, however judicious vineyard management ensured that there was minimal fruit damage.

Budburst was in the first weeks of September. During flowering there was generally good weather, with some rain as the chardonnay flowered.  Summer was a blessing, with a warm start and minimal rainfall allowing grape growers to concentrate on their fruit quality.

Only 43 mm of rain fell during December, January and during harvest at the beginning of February. The heatwave of February 10th to 12th saw three days above 40C (10-14 degrees above average). Overall, summer was 3.7 degrees above average in Mudgee.

Widespread rain occurred on March 22nd, with 70mm falling in the vineyard areas, however most fruit had been harvested.

Harvest started a few days earlier than normal, with the small amounts of sparkling base being harvested in the first week of February.

Gewurztraminer and early semillon followed, with chardonnay soon after. Riesling was harvested in mid February with early ripening red varieties such as tempranillo following soon after.

Harvesting of white varieties at optimum ripeness was well paced for the wineries. Acidity levels were slightly lower than normal, but flavour profiles are very good.

Red varieties such as merlot were a little earlier, with shiraz being picked in the normal period (late February into early March). Cabernet sauvignon was harvested at the usual time (late March into early April) and the earlier pickings are very good.

There were a few vineyards that could not manage to get ripeness in cabernet because of the rain and cooler temperatures.

Alternative varieties such as tempranillo and graciano, along with shiraz, performed very well in the warm dry summer. Again, acid levels were low, with some high pH batches harvested. Colour, flavour and tannin profiles are excellent.

Overall, it has been a very good vintage for the Mudgee region. These consecutive outstanding vintages have supported the region’s increasing recognition as a world-class winegrowing region of premium wines.

For more information on the region see links below and visit


  • Mudgee (NSW)

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April 27th, 2017
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