Australia has best growing season in decades while Champagne has one of the worst
There's contrasting news from opposite parts of the world on the quality of the 2012 harvest, with Australia set to benefit from the best growing conditions in the past twenty years but Champagne seeing the worst growing season in decades.
According to James Halliday, a top Australian wine writer, the weather has been almost perfect in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia - after years of heatwaves, bush fires and heavy rain affecting crops. Winemakers across South Australia, even in the warmer areas like McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley, are saying the quality they've got out of 2012 is exceptional. Its good news for the industry which has been hit by the strong Australian dollar and the global financial crisis.
Meanwhile in Champagne prospects for the 2012 harvest look bleak. Even with the improved weather they are having in the run-up to harvest, yields will be significantly down on recent years with frost, hail, protracted and uneven flowering earlier on in the year during the cold and wet weather, all having an adverse effect.
Dominique Moncomble, director of technical services at the CIVC (Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne), described the season as ‘unprecedented’, adding that average yields would be down 30%, but that harvest quality was ‘not yet compromised’.