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Frost fighting

The frost alarm phone call in the middle of the night will jolt you out of bed.  It's not exactly unexpected because through-out spring we're watching forecasts very closely and know when they're likely.  But the phone call isn't exactly welcome either because it heralds the start of a long, cold night. We have frost fans at all the vineyards, so by the time the team arrive at each vineyard the wind machines will be just starting up.  Often the fans are enough on their own, to bri...

September 22, 2022

The why and how of pruning vines

A grapevine needs pruning for lots of reasons, to make the vine easy to look after and to reduce the crop load so the fruit can fully ripen. Maintain vine form.  Vines are originally forest dwelling climbers!  That means left to their own devices they would sprawl until they found something to grow up.  In a grape growing vineyard we train them along trellis (post and wires) so we can pick the grapes at harvest, but also to open up the leaf area so we can increase airflow and...

August 11, 2022

Vintage 2022

We're just a few days into the start of harvesting vintage 2022.  Our Pinot Gris and Chardonnay have been bought in and tomorrow we'll start on the Pinot Noir.   It's always an exciting time in the vineyard - the end of a years work which started with pruning in May last year.  And there's a buzz in the winery as the fruit comes in. But this is a vintage like no other - with Frank, Anna, Andrew and Jamie all living on site in order to avoid covid and make sure harvest can car...

March 24, 2022

A very special Rosé

Here in North Canterbury we're officially classed as a cool climate wine producer.  This might come as a surprise to some - with many days in the mid-30s during summer.  But it refers more to the length of the growing season.  A slightly shorter growing season means the window to get grapes fully ripened is smaller, making my father's decision to plant Tempranillo (a Spanish grape) a little bonkers.  But thank goodness he did - because it makes an awesome Rosé.  We add ...

September 13, 2021

Our Chardonnay story

In 2014 we planted around 10,000 Chardonnay vines.  They were interplanted between the Riesling vines (yes, the ones that look like twigs in the ground!) which were eventually removed.  We planted them near the frost fans as they are an early ripening grape and need all the help they can get to survive spring frosts.   My father chose newly developed clones - that produced very small berries which would enable the production of very high quality wines.  Most Chardonnay i...

August 17, 2021

Is Pinot Gris the perfect winter white?

Its chilly!  And at this time of the year our (wine) thoughts naturally turn to red wines to accompany some of those hearty foods.  But increasingly our diets are moving away from lots of red meat and towards fish, white meats and plant based foods.  This means sometimes a big bold red won't work quite so well, but a chilled white isn't quite what we want either; enter Pinot Gris. Unlike Sauvignon Blanc which needs chilling to lift the crisp acidity and provide structure, a full b...

July 20, 2021

2022 vintage starts here

We’ve just finished harvesting our 2021 vintage, but that doesn’t mean it’s all quiet in the vineyard. In fact, we’re heading into one of our busiest times; there are over 120,000 vines to hand prune before budburst in spring, and Will, John, Matt and Buzz are hard at work already with around 30,000 vines pruned already.Pruning is a skilled job; the work done now sets the vine up for the coming season and greatly influences the quantity (crop load) and quality. We aim to limit the crop l...

June 17, 2021 Posts 1-7 of 7 | Page

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