Crops carry grape hopes

VINTAGE CROP: Tony Ferraro was last week picking the last of his Vermentino grapes for Willem Kurt Wines. PHOTO: Brad Worrall

QUALITY not quantity is bearing fruit for grape growers in the region, said Alpine Valleys Wine Region president Micheal Freudenstein.

This year the valleys will produce about 2800 tonnes of grapes almost half of what was grown in 2008 before the fall in demand.

But Mr Freudenstein said what was lost in tonnage has been rewarded with quality.

“There was a time when the big operations took all the fruit they could, that wasn’t good for the industry, now even they demand quality grapes,” he said.

“The industry found that high cropping levels didn’t work and in the end those people who produced poorer quality grapes were driven out of the industry.

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