Learn more about 1997 Australia
In South Australia the first half of the summer was cool before a heatwave in February with the temperatures so high that in many cases the ripening process shut down altogether. Consequently the harvest was late, resulting in concentrated and complex wine being produced across the board. In Coonawarra, quantities were down by one-third but what was lost in quantity was made up for in quality. The Pathdaway Chardonnays are particularly outstanding.
An exceptionally dry growing season in Victoria meant that yields were down but marvellously rich and concentrated wines were produced, especially in the Yarra Valley.
Western Australia escaped the heatwave of the eastern states. The growing season was long and some fine Sémillon/Sauvignon Blancs were produced as well as some outstanding Chardonnays. The Cabernet Sauvignons rival the stunning 96s in their intensity and complexity.