Harslevelu wine grapes in Western Australia

Page last updated: Monday, 19 November 2018 - 9:06am

The Harslevelu variety of wine grapes is native to the Carpathian Basin and is famous for its contribution to the sweet Tokaji Aszú wines from Hungary. Harslevelu was evaluated for grape and wine production in trials at Manjimup from 2003 to 2011.

The variety produces numerous large bunches requiring extensive crop thinning and may be more suited to a production climate warmer than Manjimup.

Wines produced in Manjimup displayed floral and perfume characteristics which indicate potential to produce distinct wines in a warmer region.

This variety is pronounced ‘harsh-leh-veh-loo’, and translated the name means ‘lime leaf’. Combined with Furmint it gives perfume, spice and smoothness to the traditional Tokaji blend. Typical table wines are highly perfumed, spicy, viscous and full-bodied.

Production at Manjimup

Harslevelu vines grown at Manjimup showed an erect growth habit that provided easy canopy management. The variety is highly fertile producing many large, long bunches that often have large wings and shoulders. Berries are medium in size and bunches have a low level of compaction. Due to the large bunches set on Harslevelu vines, the variety requires substantial crop thinning to adequately ripen fruit.

Timing of key phenology stages for Harslevelu at Manjimup

Budburst

(E-L 4)

Full bloom

(E-L 23)

Veraison

(E-L 35)

Harvest

(E-L 38)

Early–mid September

Mid-December

Late February

Early April

Harslevelu is susceptible to powdery mildew, and requires early control to avoid berry damage. The variety may be more suited to warmer areas, although it requires canopy management to prevent sunburn of fruit.  At harvest, Harslevelu fruit tastes tropical with muscat, lychee and lemon citrus flavours.

Harslevelu production characteristics

Productivity

High

Berry weight

Medium

Bunch weight

High

Vine fruit yield

6.4kg

Disease susceptibility

Medium

Equivalent yield

10.6t/ha

Bunch compaction

Low

Vigour

Low

Juice TSS (°Brix)

23.9

Juice Baumé

13.3

Juice pH

3.2

Juice TA g/L

8

Wine judging results

Wines have a soft front palate with aromas and flavours of peaches and pears with underlying citrus characters and a crisp finish.

Wine judging results for Harslevelu with points out of 20

2009 Winemakers Panel

2010 Timber Towns Wine Show

16.4

16.4

Contact information

Richard Fennessy
+61 (0)8 9780 6219
Kristen Brodison
+61 (0)8 9780 6189