Harvest season is the exciting time of year when vineyards burst with the rich colours of ripening grapes, signalling the start of a new vintage for wine enthusiasts. It is almost the time for the Southern Hemisphere’ harvest season, which takes place from February to April depending on which region you are in.
The exact timing of grape season between countries and regions varies depending on many factors, such as sun exposure, temperature and rainfall. Winemakers keep a watchful eye on their vineyards, ensuring the grapes ripen just right before the hustle of harvesting begins.
Early-season grapes like Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, celebrated for their high acidity, kickstart the season. As the season progresses, later-season grapes such as Chardonnay and Shiraz, boasting rich, ripe flavours, come into play.
Some notable areas in the Southern Hemisphere include:
- Australia: Known for its diverse wine regions, including Barossa Valley, Margaret River, and Hunter Valley.
Yalumba, located in the heart of Barossa Valley, is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery, known for its commitment to sustainable practices and a diverse portfolio of premium wines blend.
- New Zealand: Renowned for its wine-producing regions like Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, and Central Otago.
Te Mata Estate, Situated in Hawke’s Bay, Te Mata Estate is one of New Zealand’s oldest wineries, celebrated for its high-quality, Bordeaux-style blends.
- South Africa: Famous for wine regions such as Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek.
Kanonkop, known for its exceptional red wines, Kanonkop in Stellenbosch has a rich history and is highly regarded for its Bordeaux-style blends.
- Argentina: Notable wine regions include Mendoza, Salta, and Patagonia.
Catena Zapata, based in Mendoza, is synonymous with quality Malbec, elevating Argentine wines to global recognition.
- Chile: Features wine-producing areas like Maipo Valley, Casablanca Valley, and Colchagua Valley.
Concha y Toro, located in Maipo Valley, is one of Chile’s largest and oldest wineries. Concha y Toro is famous for its Casillero del Diablo brand and innovative winemaking.
- Uruguay: Growing wine regions such as Canelones and Colonia.
Bodega Garzon, Maldonado, is emerging as a star in Uruguay, and is known for its commitment to sustainability and high-quality Tannat wines.
- Brazil: Emerging wine regions like Serra Gaúcha and Vale dos Vinhedos.
Casa Valduga is a leading winery in Serra Gaúcha and is recognized for its traditional method of sparkling wines and dedication to terroir.
- Southern parts of Chile and Argentina: Regions like Patagonia, which are becoming increasingly recognized for their wines.
Bodega del Fin del Mundo is pioneer in winemaking in Patagonia, producing cool-climate wines of distinction.
The Southern Hemisphere’s grape season is unfolding soon, from February to April. Various wineries, both old and new, bring different flavours. It’s a short but important time for Southern Hemisphere wines, showing off the different tastes and skills of winemakers. Here’s to a season of unique wines from regions from all across the South.