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High hopes for 2006 vintage

Published:  23 July, 2008

by stuart peskett
The 2006 vintage in Argentina has been described as the best on record.
Jos Gil-Fournier, MD of the O Fournier group, said that the latest vintage for the Uco Valley in Mendoza will be the best vintage we've ever seen, even better than 2002'.
Roberto de la Mota, chief winemaker at Terrazas de los Andes, told Harpers that December and January were warmer than normal, February a little fresher, and
March is perfect' so far.
He said: For Terrazas, 2006 will be
much better than 2005. For the reds,
we will probably have the same
concentration as 2005, with excellent balance and acidity.'
Expectations are also high in New Zealand, where the crop is expected to increase from 142,000 tonnes in 2005, to between 165,000 and 185,000 tonnes.

New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan said: While grape yields appear

to be about average or slightly below, the harvest is earlier than "normal" in many regions, reflecting the generally warm weather that has prevailed in January

and February.'

And in South Africa, the Vilafont team believes it has created the first podcast dedicated to the harvest. Visitors to can read daily updates on the progress of the harvest, with contributions from the team, which includes Mike Ratcliffe, and husband-and-wife team Phil Freese and Zelma Long.

Ratcliffe announced on one of his blogs that it looks like 2006 is going to be a blockbuster', while Long commented that the harvest was looking almost too good to be true... but it is early days yet'.