Vintage 2021’s first harvest is off to a flying start in Queensland’s heart of warm climate winemaking, the South Burnett Geographic Indication (GI).

On  Monday 4 January, Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith witnessed the first harvest of the 2021 season in the South Burnett Wine Region at Lightning Tree, Moffatdale. “Verdelho is thriving in the South Burnett Geographic Indication (GI). In this part of the wine world, the sub-region of Moffatdale’s vines make a great contrast in a sub-tropical estate of rolling green hills, ironbark ridges, and straw-brown fence lines.

“Lightning Tree Wines vignerons Peter and Vikki Stewart produce quality fruit-driven, single vineyard, varietal wines that are an excellent expression of the South Burnett’s unique terroir. Over 2.3 tonnes were harvested this week from their single vineyard of Verdelho”, says Mr Peter Scudamore-Smith.

The first pick of vintage 2021 was a small team effort – Clovely Estate’s contract mechanical harvester trundled down the Verdelho at 5am on Tuesday morning. Clovely Estate also acts as an estate available for customer visitation allowing for leisurely drives through vineyards, olive groves, farmland and small country towns, making stops at cellar doors and farm gates to sample the local produce. Peter Stewart, Lightning Tree Wines owner, quipped, “we have such contrasting Verdelho harvest dates; this year 4 January, last year 23 December (2019), several years ago it was late January – the vagaries of climate change are borne out.

“Lightning Tree Wines hopes to release our 2021 Verdelho in late March, available for purchase through our cellar door, Barambah Cellars at Moffatdale for $20 RRP.”

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