It’s set to be a bumper grape harvest this season for the Cowra and Canowindra wine-making region, with local vineyard Windowrie commencing picking of the Picpoul grape variety on Friday morning.
After a small but extremely successful harvest of the ‘oyster wine’ last year, Windowrie’s Jason O’Dea said he looking forward to seeing how the rest of the whites and reds fair this year.
“It’s been fantastic, it’s been a dry finish to the year, we are probably the only people in Cowra that don’t want rain,” he said.
“The whites are all off after this today, so late ripening, so we have started on the reds and the reds are looking as good as we have ever done."
Despite an unusually wet spring last year and the dry summer to begin 2017, Mr O’Dea said it only resulted in a two week delay on harvest.
“The reds are a little bit later than usual… that is caused by that cooler weather in Spring, so flowering was late, the change of colour was late and our harvest has been late by two weeks maybe,” he said.
”What it did allow was really good growth early on so there was plenty of moisture.”
The whites are all off after this today... the reds are looking as good as we have ever done.Jason O'Dea
Mr O’Dea teamed up with Steve Feletti of Moonlight Flat oysters, who owns the Picpoul variety growing at Windowrie, a number of years ago and Mr Feletti said that partnership has gone from strength to strength.
“I had these grapevines and I knew I needed someone who knew what they were doing, so I rang Jason up… it was a bit of a sale over the phone and he was crazy enough to take it up and we got on like a house on fire,” he said.
“We had our really first commercial vintage last year, just a small quantity.
“We sold out in a month.”
Mr Feletti said he retrieved the grapes from France a few years ago and is now seeing the fruits of his labour truly shine, with Borrowed Cuttings Piqupoul Blanc getting positive reviews across the board.
“I had a three year strategy to go and get it,” he said.
“Three years in quaratantine, two and a half years in a cloning lab in Melbourne and then another year and a half to get them paddock ready… and this is the end product.”