Well one can only describe the 2011 vintage in Gisborne as one of extremes and has certainly put our vineyard practices to the test. With some cooler weather during flowering in early November, the fruit set was a little lighter than previous year (which can be a disadvantage with yields but on the flipside can intensify flavours). We had an amazing run into summer with unusually hot and dry conditions from mid December through to the end of January.
However the old saying of it is not over until the fruit is harvested was very true this year with higher than average rainfall in Feb threating to make it hard to get the fruit in optimum condition. Thankfully Richard and the vineyard team had been particularly diligent early in the season setting up the fruit which extensive shoot and canopy thinning which paid dividends later with the fruit remaining in very good condition. It was then in early March that the weather gods were on our side and gave us three weeks of beautiful sunny ripening conditions which allowed the vintage to turn and we harvested some fantastic fruit. In particular the Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris are looking good this year. Cooler evenings through March and some more rain in late March put the Merlot to the test but once again our work earlier in the season in the vineyard has paid off and we are happy with the quality that was taken into the winery. It is always a fun time of year and we look forward to sharing the wines with you once they are released!
In the winery we are very happy with the quality of the Gisborne fruit again this year. The Chardonnay and the aromatics all look good now that they are through ferment. We are excited to add a couple of new wines to the range this year. Our first Pinot Noir, which will be lighter in style but still very varietal will be released in time for summer. We also took in an interesting parcel of Musque Chardonnay so watch this space and we will keep you updated throughout the year.