Vintage Summary 2008

The season started with good soil moistures after a relatively wet spring. Warm, stable and sunny weather during flowering resulted in a successful fruit set with moderate to large crops. Above average rainfall throughout the summer months led to healthy canopies with a much decreased dependence on irrigation, and in parts of the vineyard with heavier soils, no irrigation for the whole growing season. Cool night time temperatures leading up to the harvest slowed the ripening so that harvest proceeded over a 4 week period starting on March 25. The harvest period was very dry and the fruit was, as usual, in very good condition. Thankfully, vintage was completed by April 23 after which the weather turned very cold with unseasonal snow in the vineyards and heavy rain at the end of April.It's interesting to reflect back on our previous vintages knowing what we do now. Every year we learn and apply more. In general, we think there is a quantum leap from 2002 onwards. Could it be because this is when we started converting to organic and biodynamic cultivation? Quite possibly, but more likely we should look to Blair's experience with eleven vintages under his belt, Gareth King leading the viticulture for eight years (with an extensive cover crop programme underway since 2000), and more confidence in letting the wines express themselves, being patient and continually trying to push for quality.