Vintage 2020: Predictions with Howard Park’s Jeff Burch
January 24, 2020

Vintage is fast approaching and our families are working hard to prepare for another year of winemaking. We will be checking in with them throughout the proess and share updates, images and videos with you along the way.

Howard Park is our only winery located in Western Australia, with the Burch family sourcing fruit from two locations: the Great Southern and Margaret River.

While the winery has not been directly impacted by the bushfires that have ripped through Australia over the Christmas 2019/2020 period, they have still been faced with a fair share of challenges. In recent times, the Burch family has been forced to adapt to climate change and make some changes in their day-to-day opperations, including the application of a special ‘sunscreen’ to their grapes.

“It’s crucial to protect the grapes, so we give them a sunscreen so that the skins don’t dry up and crack… A bit like your face, when your face gets sunburnt it gets harsh, it gets a little bit stiff,” Jeff Burch told the ABC in late 2019. “I’m not a science specialist on weather, I just know the facts are that we’re getting less rainfall, we’re getting more different weather patterns.”


Yield: V20 yield likely to be 10 to 15% below the last 5 year average (Ave) but higher than the relatively low yields of last vintage (V19).

Rainfall: Dry Spring & Early Summer – Margaret River is down 20% on average & Great Southern is down 40% on average

Temperature: Monthly average daily temperature is up, resulting in early budburst. The current season is generally 1 to 2 weeks earlier than Ave and 2 to 3 weeks earlier than the lead up to last vintage (V19). It may well compress the 2020 vintage much like 2016 which had very similar low rainfall and early season temperatures and heat accumulation.

Quality: Expect high quality in Margaret River particularly for Cabernet Sauvignon. The Great Southern vintage will be early and quality will depend on the amount of water available in each vineyard.

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