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‘A vintage for character building’

 
2014 Vintage
 
With the final fruit in the door, tucked up nicely in the throes of ferment; time now allows us to reflect on the fantastic journey of the Waipara Valley growing season, that has let us to this moment.
 
The 2013/2014 summer had a very warm start which encouraged early blossoming in the Waipara Valley vineyards. Barbeques were heating up, and locals were glowing with their summer tans. Many were speculating that 2014 could possibly be one of the earliest vintages Waipara had ever seen. It was an exciting time!

We had a small amount of rain that came through when the Pinot Noir was flowering, the only effects was a smaller yield, something that we now can attribute to the character and intensity of flavour in the fruit.
 
Just as our summer holidays came along, Mother Nature played her card and the temperatures dropped dramatically before Christmas, slowing down the speed of growth.
 
February brought its fair share of surprises, including an out-of-the-ordinary hail storm, which came as a bit of a shock. Thankfully it skimmed the outskirts of Waipara and the vineyards came away unharmed.
 
The 2014 harvest began on the 24th of March with the Chardonnay and Pinot, both of which are outstanding this year. The barrels are already showing an intriguing intensity of flavour with superb character.
 
I think the Pinot Noir will definitely turn heads when we start to show these wines off in due course. Typically we are seeing a combination of earthy, savoury characters and the typical layered fruit flavours in our 10-5 and Abel clones. The 667, 777, 115 and UCD 5 clones are showing lots of richness and texture which will be exciting to have on the blending table.
 
The second half of harvest couldn't have been more different from the start. We had 163ml of rain in April, which was three times the monthly average. The rain provided its challenges to the crews, however the quality of the remaining fruit was paramount and the crews picked when the rain eased ensuring the best was harvested.

We have decided that 2014 will not produce the limited edition Equinox Pinot Gris and Riesling, as the best fruit needs to be put into the Waipara Hills label. However the Waipara Sauvignon Blanc in the Equinox wine this year is exceptional and should hopefully counteract this decision and keep the Equinox lovers happy.

Enjoy!

Simon

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Waipara Hills

Waipara Hills, 780 Glasnevin Road
State Highway 1, Waipara, North Canterbury, New Zealand

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