Well it’s all go at Johner Estate for the next few weeks with all hands on deck to harvest the grapes in what may be one of the very best seasons ever! We have a stunning crop with all varieties of grape in superb condition and sugar levels optimum. The team are working dawn til dusk and while most are actually picking we have a dedicated team in the winery focusing solely on processing the grapes and beginning the all important wine making alchemy. Thirteen may be an unlucky number for some but I for one am looking forward to my first sip of the 2013 vintage!
Another absolutely fabulous Wairarapa Harvest Festival was held on Saturday in the beautiful riverside location known locally as ‘The Cliffs’, just down the road from Johner Estate. It was a hugely successful day with brilliant music, superb food and delicious wine and the crowd had a wonderful day! Thank you to all the visitors to the Johner stand, we always look forward to seeing you and helping ensure everyone has a great time. Can’t wait ’til next time for the best wine festival around!
It’s a classic Wairarapa Summer with long sunny days and temperatures soaring in to the mid thirties by early afternoon, followed by refreshingly cool nights. These are perfect conditions for our grapes which are fully formed and ripening. However we are not the only ones watching the crop carefully! The sparrow, finch and starling are all greedily eyeing up the juicy grapes which are just now developing some early sweetness and so the priority this fortnight at Johner Estate is netting. The team are working hard at what is an exhausting but essential job and looking forward to some quieter time after the netting is complete.
Remember the tasting room is open seven days a week, 10am – 4.30pm and we welcome visitors. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Over early November the team at Johner Estate are busy tidying the fresh new growth on all the vines on the Estate. This detailed job involves not only considering this years growth and fruiting but also keeping a thought for the design of next years growth and appropriate pruning come winter. We need as many superfluous shoots removed as possible whilst leaving good buds for this season’s fruit and a sturdy strong sprout, in exactly the right place to provide next seasons leading cane. One of our new girls, Johanna, (pictured above), tackles all this with a smile! Meanwhile in the tasting room we will shortly be showcasing our new vintage Pinot Noir Moonlight 2010 and Pinot Noir Gladstone 2010. Both will be available in the next couple of weeks so do take the time to pop in to Johner Estate and try these new wines yourselves. And with the party season approaching do get in touch – we love to help with parties… weddings…. and Christmas celebrations!
At Johner Estate we are proud of our Herbicide Free status as we know, in this day and age, it is always preferable to reduce or eliminate harsh chemical usage in any situation, especially large scale usage on farm, orchards and vineyards. This is another example of our hands on approach to vineyard management allowing us closer monitoring of the vines whilst manually dealing with weeds. Yes manually! Above is a photo of Sandra grubbing out weeds amongst the young pinot noir vines with a specially designed and rather scary looking hoe. Of course the whole vineyard is far too large to always weed by hand and the older vine rows are treated to tractor powered under vine weeding, rotary harrowing and cultivating. This approach has the combined benefit of dealing with the weeds, crushing them and ripping them out whilst also reducing the root run of the vines. Next time you visit Johner Estate I would recommend taking a closer look at the vineyard itself and please do ask questions of the tasting room staff as they will be happy to help.
The vineyard is alive with the beautiful soft green glow of fresh new growth! It’s the perfect time of year to instigate our vine replanting program replacing any vines throughout the vineyard that have succumbed over the last season. Sandra, Steven and the team are very busy planting approximately 1700 new grafted Pinot Noir clones which arrived just last week from our suppliers, having been cool stored and then soaked to bring them out of winter hibernation. Johner Estate is densely planted, this being one of our signatures of quality, ensuring vines strive to reach the high flavour concentrations Karl Johner desires. The procedure with new planting is as follows. Firstly Steven and Moritz mark the location of new vines (with flourescent orange spray paint!), Dale uses a digger to create the holes, Robert improves the holes by hand and Sandra, Christin and Friderike follow planting the vines tenderly amongst soil (rocks are removed). The new vines are staked, secured and enclosed with a plastic vine guard creating a protected moist environment in which they will thrive. Steven is regularly watering the new vines to help them establish in what is proving to be a glorious warm spring.