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News | News

Central Otago Harvest 2013
Central Otago

The 2013 season was one of the latest on record. Harvest started in earnest on April 5th. Weather conditions for harvest were near perfect, with cool calm days.  The prediction of rain eventuated with a shower of rain falling the day after final pick.

Waipara Valley Vineyard Update 2013
Four legged leaf pluckers hard at work

Summer of 2012/13 will be remembered by us as a great summer in the vineyard and this will be reflected in the bottle; vintage 2013!

This warm and settled summer was the base for a favorable ripening season. Fruit was harvested with good flavour, generous sweetness and solid acidity across all varietals.

Highlight of the  season in Waipara has been the implementation of several trial organic blocks. These have been very successful, thanks in part  to the clement weather and also the dedication of the staff to make this work. It was interesting to see, from spring, the difference in vigor between the organic and conventional blocks. The organic blocks being much less vigorous, bunch line more open and the leaves a paler green. By mid-summer the colour had evened out. Right up to harvest, those blocks stood up to the variety of weather and produced some of the best fruit.

Once again we have successfully employed a mob of 500 sheep to do some of our leaf plucking. At a busy time of the year when tractor/man hours are at a premium, these 4 legged leaf pluckers do a great job of opening the bunch line of over 70ha of vineyard.

Harvest started on 28th March and lasted for nearly 6 weeks, finishing with a pick of Pinot Gris on the 4th May, fruit still in very good condition, at 27 brix, on duck shooting opening day.

Through harvest we had glorious days interrupted by a few rain events often followed by windy Nor- Westers which kept us on our toes making harvest date decisions crucial to bringing in the best fruit.

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.

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