Swan Valley took a beating from a tropical storm in mid-January which led to disease outbreaks, but conditions were otherwise unusually mild and therefore ideal, and the vintage produced some of the region’s best red wines for many years.
The 2018 vintage unfolded against a background of record overseas demand for Australian wine, led principally by the apparently ever-growing thirst of China’s seemingly ever-growing middle class. Expanding exports, which exceeded $2.7 billion in value for the year to September, have finally slain the dragon of oversupply, the curse of the industry for more than a decade.
Floods following two massive downpours associated with cyclones caused major loss to crops in the Swan Valley. However, the unaffected grenache, shiraz and verdelho are expected to produce solid results.
2017 was a growth year in nearly every way for Australian wine, with the crush up by five per cent to 1.93 million tonnes. Teamed with the US’s resumption of its former status as our second-largest export market and the sustained growth in the Chinese market for our wine (up by 42 per cent in the past year), there is much to celebrate.