Blackwood Valley 2024 Vintage Report


Records were broken in the Blackwood Valley for Vintage 2024. It will be remembered as one of the earliest, fastest, and most compacted vintages in recent times. Vine growth stages, from budburst to flowering, flowering to fruit set, fruit set to veraison, and veraison to harvest were all completed in record time. Some wine regions in WA had two vintages in the same year which is extraordinary!

This was all due to lower than average winter rains for 2023, combined with higher than average temperatures all through spring and summer, and topped off with consistent warm easterly winds all through Summer. Soil temperatures at budburst were high, so vines woke up early and raced away, and did not stop until harvest. As a result, most varieties were harvested 4 weeks earlier than average.

The consistent warm conditions put extra pressure on the vines and, because of this, yields on average were down 30%. Vines that received water through irrigation still performed well, but yields were still down.

The Marri blossom this vintage was very heavy, and the trees put on a fantastic display of white flowers. It was also early and timed perfectly with ripening grapes. Because of this there was no bird damage at all, as they had plenty of Marri nectar to eat.

Harvesting of white grapes started very early in February and 95% of reds were harvested by the end of February. The fast and early vintage put a lot of logistical pressure on wineries and harvesting contractors, trying to keep up with ripening fruit.  Red varieties were ready to harvest before whites were finished, putting extra pressure on wineries trying to fit everything in.

Vintage 2024 in the Blackwood Valley will go down as early and fast. With warm days, no rain and lower yields it still resulted in beautiful ripe, clean fruit with great concentration of flavours. Once again we look forward to fantastic wines from Vintage 24.

Mick Hester - Owner and Vigneron - Upper Blackwood Estate Vineyards

Photo credits to Mick Hester

Quotes from Winemakers Andrew Dawson and Marie- Pierre Dussault

“The whites have great fruit concentrate and flavour with surprising acidity considering the conditions. The early dry season meant the reds could hang out for optimal flavour and tannin ripeness, reds across the board have great concentration and depth of flavour”. Andrew Dawson, Winemaker Yeah Wines

“2024 vintage presented itself early and certainly brought a few challenges with the warm weather and dry summer. The Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of two vineyards and the aroma blows us way with its delicious tropical nose, especially pinapple. The Viognier was picked riper than last year which should produce a deeper flavour of apricot and honey. It is developing partially in oak, partially in tank. We are really satisfied with the wines and can’t wait to see how they will develop over the next few months”  Winemaker, Marie-Pierre Dussalt Sunnyhurst Wines.





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