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News | News

Waipara Valley Vineyard Update, December 2012

This new photo shows undervine mowing in our Waipara Valley trail block which was completed last week.  

In further news, the Pinot Noir is in full flower, Riesling and Pinot Gris halfway through and Sauvignon just starting.

The casual team has completed our second pass of wire lifting (you can see how the vines have grown in the last couple of weeks with the shoots reaching the top of the posts) and we are hoping to have the third one done the day before Christmas all going well!

NZ Summer of Riesling
NZ Summer of Riesling

http://www.summerofriesling.co.nz/

The Summer of Riesling is a worldwide movement which encourages the consumption, discussion and enjoyment of Riesling. It’s about having fun, enjoying great wine and not taking ourselves too seriously. Watch out for tshirts, wicked wine lists, lane way parties and tattoos!

The second New Zealand Summer of Riesling happens from the 1st December 2012 to 28th February 2013.

The Summer of Riesling began in 2008 when Paul Grieco from the Terroir Wine Bar in New York decided that only Riesling would be offered by the glass as the white wine pour. And so began the revolution......

The NZ Summer of Riesling is sponsored by NZ’s best Riesling producers and delivered to you by some of the most exciting establishments in the country.

Become a foot soldier, choose Riesling. Viva la Revol

The Summer of Riesling is a worldwide movement which encourages the consumption, discussion and enjoyment of Riesling. It’s about having fun, enjoying great wine and not taking ourselves too seriously. Watch out for tshirts, wicked wine lists, lane way parties and tattoos!

The second New Zealand Summer of Riesling happens from the 1st December 2012 to 28th February 2013.

The Summer of Riesling began in 2008 when Paul Grieco from the Terroir Wine Bar in New York decided that only Riesling would be offered by the glass as the white wine pour. And so began the revolution......

The NZ Summer of Riesling is sponsored by NZ’s best Riesling producers and delivered to you by some of the most exciting establishments in the country.

Become a foot soldier, choose Riesling. Viva la Revolution!

Waipara Hills at the New World Wine & Food Festival, 8th December 2012
Waipara Hills at the New World Wine & Food Festival,  8th December 2012

Waipara Hills is excited to exhibit at The New World Wine & Food festival this weekend in Christchurch, NZ. The festival returns for the second year to celebrate the wineries of the South Island region, and their status as New Zealand's representative on the prestigious Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

A range of on site features including wine seminars and cooking exhibitions hosted by industry experts will be a prominent part of the festival, and with live entertainment from some of New Zealand’s leading musicians, the New World Wine & Food Festival is a great way to start Christchurch's summer festive season. For more information please see the event website: www.winefestival.co.nz http://www.winefestival.co.nz/http://www.winefestival.co.nz/ 

We look forward to seeing you there.

Marlborough Update - The Woolshed Vineyard December 2012
Preparing to fight the frost

The growing season has started well at The Woolshed Vineyard with warm weather leading to great shoot development and very even budburst on the 27th October. The first half of November saw the arrival of cooler than average weather which slowed vine growth and that distinctive yellowing of vines was evident around Marlborough. Frost damage to vines on the Woolshed block was minimal compared to some blocks in the region.

 The last week of November saw a distinct increase in temperatures resulting in some major growth spurts in the vines. We only recorded 6mm rain for the month so irrigation is underway as ground has dried very quickly, a huge turnaround from August /Sept when we had flooding through the blocks and sheds.

Hill Block 6, our young Pinot Noir, has started flowering and I would predict that the sauvignon blanc won’t be far away with all this warm weather.

Bud rubbing and 1st foliage wire lift has been completed so we are running on target timing wise. We were stoked to see the arrival of our new sprayer, it’s a relief to know we can get those important canopy sprays applied at the most crucial times.

Waipara Valley Update - Home Block, The Deans & The Mound Vineyard December 2012
Vineyard team hard at work in Waipara

Spring started in Mid-September for Waipara with the Chardonnay first to bud burst, followed by the Pinots, Riesling and Sauvignon.

With bud burst we are on high alert for spring frosts and have had 17 events this year. The last time the helicopter flew was the 8th of November, fighting hard to keep the frost at bay.

Spring so far has been rather cold and growth slow. The weather is looking to improve from now on just in time for flower.

We have a large crew of seasonal workers in the vineyard, about 30 people from all over the world. They are working their way through the shoot thinning, bud rubbing and wire lifting.

Central Otago Update - Golden Terraces Vineyard December 2012
Frost Fighting methods

There have been testing times in Central Otago, with 12 recorded frost events to date (the highest number in the past 4 seasons).  As widely reported the frost event on the 4th of November was particularly damaging across the Central Otago region. Initial indications were for a loss of 100 tonnes of fruit, although this has now been scaled back to 60 tonnes, we are certain it will still have a significant impact on the local pinot noir supply.

Bleak October weather resulted in slow growth on the vines, with the second latest bud burst in 7 years of recording. Thankfully late November saw the return of some much needed warmth!

The vineyard is now bustling with life as our 12 staff are kept busy thinning shoots, lifting wires, spraying, fertilising and mowing. The addition of our new dual purpose mower/mulcher has been very well received, minimising any spraying to keep our vineyard as sustainable and efficient as possible. 

Fiona Beckett - Latest UK Review
2011 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

We were pleased to see a fantastic review from Fiona Beckett of Matching Food & Wine, another huge fan of our 2011 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

"I have to confess I’m not nuts about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but I’m obviously in a minority and if you are you’ll find this is much classier than most SBs that are on offer around the £6-7 mark. Great with zippy, full-flavoured salads and seafood like garlicky prawns."

Fiona Beckett, 1 November 2011 www.matchingfoodandwine.com/

Waipara Valley Vineyard Project, October Update
Waipara Valley Vineyard Project, October Update

Monday 29th October was the first day of shoot thinning in our Pinot Noir block at the Mound Vineyard in the Waipara Valley. This small block is part of the Waipara Valley sustainable project mentioned earlier in the blog.

Double shoots were removed by our seasonal team as well as any unnecessary shoots around the head of the plant. On average 22 to 25 shoots are remaining on the plants which have three canes. As you can see in this picture, the grass is growing and spring has definitely sprung! We will be mowing and cultivating in between the plants this coming month and look forward to sharing more photos soon.

Waipara Valley Vineyard Project
Waipara Valley Vineyard Project

Our company has a strong commitment to sustainable wine production and we have been growing and producing wine in accordance with the Sustainable New Zealand Wine Growing (SWINZ). SWINZ is an independently audited programme that covers biodiversity, soil, water and air, energy, chemicals, by products and business practices. Over the next few months we will be posting regular blogs on what this means and our company’s sustainable practices.

One particular project that we would like to share with you is our Waipara Valley Vineyard project. Jean-Luc Dufour is heading up a project to experiment organic management with several smaller blocks over the next 2-3 years. We have chosen four different grape varieties including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, blocks of between 1-2 ha each.

The aim is to experiment and gain organic management experience with these smaller blocks with the view to in time increase to a larger scale. This means no synthetic chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or herbicides will be permitted in this part of the vineyard. Instead we will gain understanding and work with ecological processes and naturally derived products.                 

The main visual difference will be grass covering the whole vineyard floor, or under plant cultivation in some parts as opposed to the conventional herbicide strip under plants. The other big change will be with our spray programme, although this is not visually noticeable. We will control disease with natural and biological products. Pruning, at this stage, is the same, but we may have to adjust it, in time, to keep plants in balance.

We have recently completed some trellis alterations, moving irrigation lines to make it friendly for under vine mowing and cultivation. Also, we will put some soil drench of seaweed and will be starting our spray programme with sulphur, seaweed and soap.

We look forward to keeping you up to date with this project providing some stories and photos along the way. Our first photo shows the first visual difference – the row on the left is first row of our project and the row on the right is conventional (herbicide use can be seen on the floor between plants).

Waipara Valley Update - August 2012
Waipara Valley Update - August 2012

 

In spite of the coolest summer we have experienced in nearly 20 years in New Zealand, we have harvested some beautiful fruit due to the fantastic autumn. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris fruit looked and tasted particularly splendid.

It was a very condensed harvest for us not starting until after Easter and most of the picking concentrated over the last two weeks of April, first week of May. The last of the Riesling was not done until the 27 of May by which time we had already started the pruning.

Just halfway through the winter months and we have progressed well with our pruning. In addition to our fulltime staff, we have around 40 casual pruning staff. A real mix of nationalities and languages in the vineyard! Chillean,Uruguan,French,English,German,Chinese and Kiwi!

June was very cold, recorded -13 at The Mound one morning which was another first! Grape vines in their dormant, winter state will cope with up to – 16, the pruning staff complain about the frosty mornings (think of them with frozen fingers trying to tie Sauvignon Blanc canes to a frosty wire.) but love the sunny days that follow.

90% of our vineyard is cane pruned to 2,3 or 4 canes depending on age and fruit destination, the remainder is spur pruned including our older block of own root Pinot Gris from whence comes our reserve Pinot Gris.

Jean-Luc Dufour, Waipara Valley Vineyard Manager

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State Highway 1, Waipara, North Canterbury, New Zealand

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