The growing seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are almost exact opposite to Northern Hemisphere. South of the equator, they more than likely have harvested most of their grapes for the year by now. Therefore, wine vintages from South Africa, South America, Australia, and New Zealand will be available before those of North America or Europe.
South Australia experienced a rough '08 vintage due to a prolonged heatwave. All signs pointed toward much of the same in '09- Janet even joked that global warming may force them to move to Antarctica! Even though February started out hot, an Indian Summer moved in, letting the grapes stay on the vine to ripen. The viticulture team in the field has claimed this vintage to be "awesome".
After the grapes were harvested and brought to the winery, Janet was blown away by the ripe and jammy goodness of the fruit. She claims it to be "rich, thick, silky, voluptuous, and yet vibrant and fresh" and "reminded me of my mum's blackcurrant jam". More fruit needs to be harvested in the south, though Janet told me with the addition of "the beautiful, lifted, perfumed, fragrant Padthaway fruit" along with the McLaren Vale harvest "2009 is starting to look very special indeed". Sounds like the makings of some fabulous wines.
Thank you Janet, Sarah, Sparky, and Mollydooker Winery.