Quality over quantity for Tasmania’s 2023 vintage

July 17, 2023
By Rachel White

Rising to the challenge of unseasonably wet and cold weather conditions, Tasmania’s winegrowers have reported “modest volumes of excellent quality” across the 2023 season. 

According to Wine Australia’s National Vintage Report 2023, released last week, the national average of grapes harvested this year is 26 per cent below the 10-year average and the lowest recorded since 2000. 

Sheralee Davies, CEO of Wine Tasmania, acknowledged the challenging season resulted in low yields in many parts of the island, reflecting the national trends. 

“The overall 2023 vintage production is very similar to 2022, with many wine growing areas experiencing significantly lower yields. The decrease in yields has been partially offset by newer vineyards starting to come into production, with the island’s total vineyard area continuing to expand.

“Due to the vigilance and tireless management of our producers, quality of the wine grapes harvested this year is reported to be excellent. With volumes down and increasing global demand, this means Tassie wine lovers may need to get in early to secure wine from their favourite vineyards,” said Davies. 

This season’s generally wet and cool conditions delayed fruit ripening across much of the island, although conditions differed dramatically from the North-West to the South and everywhere in between. 

Tasmanian wine grape growers are generally a hardy bunch, collectively harvesting 12,390 tonnes of wine grapes despite the conditions. 

That amounts to a projected total of 895,000 cases (dozens) of wine in a season that also produced another record for the value of Tasmanian wine grapes, up to $3,377/tonne compared with the national average of $642/tonne.

The highlights:

  • 895,000 cases (dozen) of Tasmanian wine produced in 2023 +1%
  • $3,377/tonne average value of Tasmanian wine grapes +4%
  • 38% of all Tasmanian wine in 2023 = sparkling wine +1 (from 37% in 2022)
  • 0.9% of Australia’s total wine grape production, but 4.0% of total value
  • Based on wine grapes harvested nationally, Tasmania is 15th by volume but 10th by value

Read the full report here

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