Late vintage in Leeton still a success in 2017

IT HAS been a case of better late than never when it comes to vintage this season. 

Leeton shire’s two wineries have both reported a later than usual vintage this season, due to a number of factors. 

Those included a wet winter last year, soil condition and summer temperatures. 

For Lillypilly Estate Winery, grapes still need to be harvested for its late varieties. 

The winery’s late varieties are among the wines Lillypilly is well known for. 

Winemaker Robert Fiumara reported a solid season. 

“It is a bit later than usual, but we found the climatic conditions to be great,” he said. 

“Every year it is different. 

“No two years are the same, so you do need to always be adapting and changing.”

Lillypilly’s brand has also continued to grow in the export market. 

Some of its bottling on Wednesday was to fill an order to go to Toronto in Canada, with the wine to be distributed through various restaurants. 

The winery also has its foot firmly in the door when it comes to having its wine featured on airlines. 

“That’s become quite a little niche for us,” Mr Fiumara said. 

“At the end of this year we will start supplying to American Airlines as well.”

For Toorak Winery, the vintage process was again another hectic period. 

The fermentation process has finished and bottling will soon start. 

“We’ve bottled some and it’s gone well,” winemaker Robert Bruno said. 

“There’s a good flavour intensity this year. 

“It was a late season, but the good thing is it allowed the grapes to stay on the vines and ripen for longer. All up it’s been an okay season. 

“You always have to be dealing with many variables.” Both wineries also featured at last weekend’s Unwined event at Pages on Pine. 

The annual event was well attended, with chef Eric Pages again using his expertise in the kitchen to match his creations with wines from Toorak and Lillypilly. Guests dined on a number of courses and sampled different wines throughout the two nights. 

“It is a bit later than usual, but we found the climatic conditions to be great.

Lillypilly Estate Winery's Robert Fiumara