Barossa Valley – mid 2016 vintage report #V16 »

How vintage is looking as of early May

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Karra Yerta Vineyard - Barossa Valley

Karra Yerta Vineyard - Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley, South Australia
Vintage 2015 in the Barossa Valley
Grape picking in the Barossa Valley in South Australia
Vines in the Barossa Valley in South Australia


With wines now in tank – and some heading to barrel and bottle – the 2016 Barossa winegrape harvest has been a stand-out, with high quality fruit and supply returning to normal after several low-yielding years.

From the early weeks of February, winemakers were reporting dense colour, and rich, vibrant flavours in Barossa shiraz.  Grenache has been another strong player in the 2016 Barossa vintage.

The 2015/16 growing season yielded a warm, dry spring, with good conditions for flowering and fruit-set.  This was followed by a hot December where canopies began to struggle, but Barossa growers managed the conditions well with best practice viticulture such as close attention to soil moisture monitoring, under-vine mulches, and sunscreens (on the grapes!)

Due to mild conditions in January, Barossa whites (including semillon, chardonnay, and riesling in Eden Valley) built delicate flavours slowly, whilst retaining crisp acid levels. 

A fortuitous 1.5 inches of rain fell from 21 January, followed by generally mild conditions throughout late January/February.  This saw phenology keep up with sugar levels in shiraz – lots of brown, crunchy seeds early, yielding rich, ripe tannins – and early flavour development.

On 9 March, another 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain fell, after which sugar levels dipped slightly, giving the Barossa grape and wine community a ‘breather’ before harvesting the later red Barossa varieties, including cabernet sauvignon, grenache and mataro.

Yields reported for Barossa’s ‘hero’ variety shiraz have generally been between average to 10-20% or more above the five year average, but are still likely to be below the 10 year average. 


This Barossa 2016 Vintage report was provided by Nicki Robins, Viticultural Development Officer, Barossa Grape & Wine Association (in conjunction with the Barossa VitiTech Group)


  • Barossa (including Eden Valley) (SA)

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June 07th, 2016
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