March, 2019... and it's been a Hot Time
bin of handpicked
Shiraz is destined for
Winery - about fifteen minutes away - to go into a
blend called "The Caley".
The blend is dominated by Cabernet
Sauvignon from the
Coonawarra Region further south. A bottle will set
you back about $350
Flat Vineyard in the Barossa
Valley has plantings of
Shiraz, Grenache and
Mourvèdre dating back to 1847. These
old vines are dry farmed so they have to drive their roots deep
to find available water to sustain themselves in a hot and dry
year like this one. This past Australian summer has been the
hottest on record for this country and the vineyard has had no
substantial rainfall for five months. Yet there is sufficient
canopy and a small crop that the vines have produced.
is Toby, a retired vineyard
dog seeking some respite on a 40°C day in the
Barossa Valley. Toby has
survived snakes, bushfires and all the perils of rural life. His
owners still have the truck, after selling their
Shiraz vineyard and are
building a new home in the town of
Angaston with views over the northern
Toby didn't indicate which
region's wine he prefers, but he sure likes the view: hilltops,
rooftops, vineyards and no cats - heaven!
So that's it for Harvest 2019
from way Down Under...
February, 2019... and now, the NEWS from
The island state of Tasmania is located 240 km south of the
Australian mainland. It has a cooler climate than most of the
mainland and that fact is reflected in the crops produced here.
Apples and pears have always been important but in recent
decades, wine, spices and cherries have shown the greatest
increase. It is also known for award winning cheeses (King
Island) and dairy products.
Throw in world class seafood, brewing and a strong farming
culture (25% of land area) and the tourist will not go hungry.
The wines produced here reflect
the cool climate: Pinot Noir,
sparklers, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot
Gris. Red grape plantings are showing increases in the warmer
regions of the island.
The wine sector is focused on the quality end. Tasmania
produces only about 1% of Australian wine but that amounts to
almost 5% of the value produced by the industry.
to an average bottle cost of about $22 Canadian on the island
versus an average bottle cost of $8 on the mainland.
Climate change has pushed some companies like
of Victoria to hedge their bets on continued access to cool
climate grapes in the future by expanding to Tasmania.
The majority of vineyards are located near Launceston in the
north along the Tamar Valley and a few regions around Hobart to
If you are touring wine country, bring lots of plastic. Bottles
often start around $30 at the cellar door and head up from
there. It is interesting that 95% of Tasmanian wine is sold
domestically but it is all at a world quality level.
of the island state's unique features is the Tasmanian Devil. The Devil population has unfortunately been in decline in
recent years because of a facial tumour disease, a cancer unique
to this species. The disease is transmitted by biting and
fighting.... which the Devils engage in constantly.
90% of the wild population has died and the disease is still
The only hope for the Devil is an unproven
vaccination programme and a captive breeding programme.
Josef Chromy Winery - Launceston, TAS
The island's current 2019 harvest is under way with Chardonnay
and Pinot Noir being picked for sparkling production.
fears of smoke taint from fires seem to have dissipated. The
crop appears to be a bit below normal but given reasonable
conditions during harvest, it should turn out to be a quality
... a fine example of TAS wine barrel mail!
So, for now, from way down under....
Tasmanian Devil photos above crtsy of:
Willis Lim [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
and JJ Harrison (https://www.jjharrison.com.au/) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Groundhog Day Report
Shubenacadie Sam, 2 Feb 2019
After a large 2018 wine grape harvest, the tanks in
California are full. Right now, there is excess supply
which should mean that prices will be stable in 2019. For us in
Canada, however, concerns regarding the dollar and
transportation costs usually have a more serious impact on
We have already had our first meeting discussing
Things will pretty much be the same this year except perhaps for
sourcing more grapes from the Lodi
For those of you who are interested in
Brehm Vineyards frozen must
and juices, during 2018 Peter expanded his roster of
grapes and juices into new sites in Oregon,
and California. There
are also new varieties available along with the old favourites.
This information is available at
Peter's web site.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or have any
I am off to Australia
where there are no groundhogs... but plenty of ‘roos.
local groundhog says that there are definitely at least 8 weeks
of winter left so I’m out of here! I
send a report on the wine scene in Tasmania and the latest on
the state of the Tasmanian Devil.
We're part of the Preston Hardware Family.....
Hardware, located at 248 Preston Street, Ottawa, in the
Little Italy, is Canada’s largest Independent
The store was founded in 1945 and has been a
September to December,
offers a large selection of grapes and juices from California,
Washington State and, more recently, Spain. Our premium grape
selection is centered on Lodi California - the “Bread Basket” of
grape production in that state.
every other wine region in that state uses Lodi fruit to a
maximum of 20% in their wines. The hillsides of Amador County
and El Dorado County are also offered as premium fresh grape
choices for the home winemaker.
On the frozen must and juice side, we offer each year popular
grape varieties from Spain and occasionally pails from
based in White Salmon, Washington.
is considered the top source for frozen grapes and juices and
they access fruit mainly from Colombia Gorge, Washington, as
well as Sonoma and Napa Valley, California.
course, we also offer other popular priced fresh grapes and
juices from California’s Central Valley as well as wine supplies
We at PrestonWine.ca wish
you and your winemaking partners a
Great Vintage New Year.
sorting Zinfandel at Noma Ranch (Lodi)
(crtsy: LoCa: The Wines of Lodi, CA)
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Enjoy your readings,
check it out.
revamped our NEWSLETTER history file to include other
articles from past seasons...
To read about a
typical harvest cycle
OH, YES... ONE MORE THING...
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