On Tuesday 13th we started harvest on Misha’s Vineyard. The season has been a mixed one with cold and wet conditions in the early months slowing the early stages of development and providing a natural reduction in yield, but a warm dry finish to the season has produced some great results. Vineyards across Central Otago are reporting very good quality fruit and are looking forward to a great 2010 vintage.
Our harvest crew – from New Zealand, Germany and France – started with the Gewurztraminer which has shown wonderful flavours develop over the past few weeks. The Gewurztraminer has been our favourite “tasting” grape with its hints of musk, turkish delight and lychee. We also have taken the Sauvignon Blanc from the aptly named “Ski Slope” section of the vineyard which has an amazing variation on both colour and flavour from the sunny side – with darker and more tropical fruit – to the lighter coloured and more traditional flavours of gooseberry in the fruit on the shaded side of the vines.
The flavour profile of our 2009 Sauvignon Blanc has produced a wonderfully vibrant wine with complexity, elegance and structure which we are confident will be repeated this year.
This year we are working with a smaller crew and picking across a longer period of harvest days. The results should produce a wonderful array of flavours with perfectly ripe fruit meeting our winemakers exacting standards being selected for the daily bin quota.
The crew were certainly looking forward to a lighter day on Thursday after working the Ski Slope for the Sauvignon Blanc, and the clone 6 Pinot Noir (leaving some shelter cloth protected rows for another day) for two days. We picked downhill then drove the crew back to the top but working on the steep slope is hard, and the bucket runners earned their breaks.
The Pinot Noir clone 6, lakefront clone 667 and a section of clone 5 from the Top Block is now in the winery and beginning the process of producing an exceptional vintage.
We will be back to the field on Monday to continue with the Pinot Noir in Olly’s selected sections.