Vintage Summary 2015

Growing Season & Vintage Conditions 

OCTOBER: Cool early spring conditions resulted in bud burst occurring a little later than usual and slow early season growth. 

NOVEMBER: Relatively cool and very unsettled spring conditions prevailed throughout November with slighter higher and more frequent rainfall. Vine growth was slow and behind normal. 

DECEMBER: Fortunately the weather finally stabilised and warmed in time for flowering which occurred in mid-December. Rainfall was very low and soil temperatures finally began increasing. This caused a rapid growth surge keeping the vineyard team very busy with shoot placement, wire lifting and trimming through to the end of the month. 

JANUARY: Peak temperatures continued to be high. Periods of cooler weather occurred but were not persistent enough to drop soil temperatures in the build up to veraison. Bunch compositions were variable (as a result of the cool spring conditions) making accurate crop predictions difficult. Bunches were overall of a good size although berry numbers were down in places. 

FEBRUARY: Temperatures were relatively moderate with warmish nights but with more than double the monthly rainfall. Veraison was helped by the early warmth and achieved completion quickly which is important for a consistent level of ripeness. 

MARCH: Some light rain events in early March kept us on edge but fortunately only 24mm recorded for the entire month. Some minor frosts as usual, but not severe enough to cause any pre-harvest leaf loss. This contributed to the high diurnal variations we normally experience offering potential for a classic Central Otago vintage. These high diurnals (often as much as 25 °C) help retain bright flavours, varietal integrity and good acidity. Leaf condition held very well with no signs of stress or early shut down allowing a late transition into dormancy. Harvest started on March 27 and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir completed by April 11 after 8 consecutive days of fast picking. The last of the Riesling was picked on April 14