This year, our 21st, was a very distinctive one characterised by the early timing of it, the small crops, and also the cleanliness of the fruit. Starting on March the 4th it was the earliest start, and finish, that we have had, and the weird thing was that it was not a hot vintage, so it wasn’t heat that caused the grapes to ripen early. The key factor was the low crops, as healthy vines will ripen a lower crop faster than a heavier one, and these low crops were caused by an untimely rain period over flowering, which was in early December. The rain caused the pollen to fall to the ground, rather than fertilise flowers, leaving small open bunches, that allowed air to flow around the berries and so we had no Botrytis at all. Covid still had an impact in that, for the first time, all of our team were NZ-based, rather than the usual array of nationalities, but it was a super experienced group, and everything flowed beautifully. It ended up being our shortest and smallest vintage for a while and it was so easy that no-one even got tired?! Felt like the vintage that wasn’t but it will provide some seriously good wines!!
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