Vintage Report 2016.
May 17, 2016This season looked very promising from the outset and didn’t disappoint. That’s not to say there weren’t challenges…such as very little rainfall and potentially larger than usual crops. The dry, sunny weather during December meant flowering was very good – the first indicator that crop size could be greater than anticipated. The weather continued to be dry and warm and with barely enough soil moisture to keep the vines healthy, much of our Viticulturist’s (Mark Ludemann) focus was on reducing crop levels across all the varieties to ensure the grapes had concentrated flavours and were going to reach optimum ripeness. Luckily we received occasional rain events that provided just enough water to see us through with the vine canopies remaining healthy right to the end. This extended period of great weather allowed us to pick each of the varieties in perfect condition just as they ripened. As well as ripeness and the balance between the sugar and acids, it’s really important to pick on flavour. Our biggest variety, Sauvignon Blanc, came in with a diverse range of flavours from our various vineyards in the Wairau, Waihopai and Awatere Valleys. From green and grassy through to ripe, tropical passionfruit and melon characters, we have a wonderful range from which to blend our final wines. The Pinot Gris is looking delightful with lovely acid/alcohol/sugar balance while the Riesling was picked with a small amount of botrytis which has provided a highly desirable richness and stone-fruit character, while still providing an ostensibly dry wine. Elegance, bright fruit and fine tannins are the early features of our Pinot Noir. In conclusion, we are very excited. As the juice completes its transformation into wine during the fermentation process, we are seeing wonderful authentic representations of both the individual grape varieties and where they are grown – exactly what we hope for!