So far, the season has been one of the coolest in our history. With only just around 600 hours of sunshine compared to normal 1400 hours the season is very late and ripeness levels way behind normal. Before harvest, we have been spending our time cutting down grapes to ensure perfect ripening of the remaining grapes. Here… you can find an article on stuff.co.nz.

On the 30th of March 2012, we started our harvest. The first grapes picked were from St. Martin Vineyards from Martinborough. Perfect ripe Chardonnay grapes at sugar levels of around 12,7 % vol alc. for our Methode Traditionelle. Some very ripe berries even had sugar levels up to 26 Brix.

The yield of our Pinot Noir for a Methode Traditionelle was around 3.5 tons from 1.25 hectares. That is very very low…

Unfortunately, the weather at harvest is not helping us a lot. With southeasterlies and southerlies bringing in some rain the odd bunch has already some Botrytis infection. But it all remains in calm conditions and there is no need to panic…

As you can see, there are are still many wonderful sain grapes ripening happily…

The most important aspect is picking out the ripe grapes by hand and then sorting them in the vineyard, before they are dropped into the bucket. As we also pick our late harvest noble grapes at a later stage from the same vineyard, no machine harvester can substitute our hard working pickers. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes couldn’t quite reach our desired ripeness levels of pure tropical fruit flavours. The grapes were too fragile to leave them longer outside, as the Botrytis was starting to spread out. So we just picked the best ones out by hand. These grapes have nice flavours of gooseberry, grapefruit and sometimes peaches. As you can imagine, the crop is smaller, and we will have a shortage of Sauvignon Blanc. We will see if we are able to produce a Sauvignon Blanc Ouvertüre (our Primeur for the German market) … but probably not…

We are also proud to be able to pick wonderful ripe Reserve Pinot Noir.

During redwine fermentation, where the juice ferments together with the skins, tannins and colour are extracted from the skins. Unfortunately the fermentation gases raise the skins so they float on top, and are not leeched out by the fermenting juice. So intense punch down is needed to mix up the skins with the juice. The total time on skins ranges between 2 and 4 weeks depending on the wine.

The quality from this very cool year is surprisingly good with dark flavours, intense colours and a great structure on the palate.

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Hand picked lovely wines from an exceptional Winery in the Wairarapa