Corker season produces promising grapes

THE HOT and dry summer days can be tiring and unbearable for some but for a Dubbo winemaker it was the perfect weather for a very good harvest.

Red Earth Estate owner Ken Borchardt was celebrating the record harvest and hoped the premium wine market would continue to rise.

"To date, we've picked all the varieties of berries except the late harvest riesling," he said.

"We've put a lot of effort in the winter for pruning which gave us small firm bunches of berries, good colour, very good fruit flavour and good natural acidity in the grape."

Mr Borchardt said although the weather was favourable the overall yield was lower than the past year due to seasonal conditions.

A change in wine-making processes this year extracted more colour and the quality of grapes were exceptional.

The lack of humidity kept bacteria from infecting the grapes and destroying them, he said. Too much rain two years ago left Mr Borchardt with zero vintage but the rain this summer came at a good time.

The Daily Liberal asked him if he could put a dollar figure on this year's harvest.

"The market is buoyant right now and it all depends whether the premium wine will remain high or go slowly down," he said.

Mr Borchardt said he was confident he would break-even and any profit would be welcomed.

"We're very happy with the results," he said.

He thanked Rotary Club of Dubbo West for their support in picking the grapes.

"They'll be here till the last berry is picked," he said.

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