Mild summer weather and a good fruit set provided a potentially large crop for the 2008 harvest. Judicious canopy management and crop thinning were imperative to obtaining good fruit quality for this vintage. Diligent vineyard management and a spell of warm dry weather late in summer ensured good ripeness was achieved. The Winter Vineyard has produced a more refined and elegant Pinot Noir style from Central Otago with great purity of fruit.
A mild spring and growing season provided us with good vine health and the potential for an above average crop. As a result a rather strict bunch-thinning regime was put in place just before and after veraison. Some rain through February saw a nervous wait followed by a dry March. The result was slightly lower than usual crop loads and small berries. The wines show a strength and power that promises the volume and depth of flavour expected in a great vintage.
The Gentle year. A mild and even growing season on the back of a wet winter set the harvest up well. Some rain in January had grapegrowers looking carefully at the crop level. But in true Central Otago fashion and with all children back at school, the weather settled into the typical February/March pattern of warm and dry. Perfect for a glass of Riesling or a Gin and Tonic in the afternoon. The growing season has given us wines with a great balance of fruit depth and acidity. I suspect this will come to be a very well regarded vintage.
2011 was a vintage of mixed emotions for us. To get all the way through the growing season then see our vineyard fall at the last hurdle was devastating. The weather conditions conspired against us and I made the decision to not make a wine from the Winter Vineyard. As you can imagine this is not a decision that is made lightly. For me the most important thing is quality and my actions represent our commitment to making the best wine we possibly can.
A warm and dry run through December 2011 and January 2012 gave way to a coolish February and March. Vignerons nerves were tested until late March and April delivered a classic Indian summer. I wore shorts until the 1st May if that is any indication of the perfect weather. Good acid retention on the back of gentle flavour and sugar accumulation has produced vibrant wines with length and definition.