Winemakers Report on the 2011 Vintage

Winemaker Olly Masters gives a brief summary on the Misha’s Vineyard 2011 vintage

Olly Masters
Olly Masters
Overall I think the season and vintage have gone well, a settled and warm Oct/Nov/Dec got us off to a flying start and we had 1119 degree days in total – which is on the warm end (Martinborough got 1220 DD, Marlborough 1010 DD). This includes 52 DD in April which not all the grapes got. Interestingly Marlborough and Martinborough only got 3 and 1 respectively for April. The benign first half gave way at Xmas with winds arriving, again the Pinot Gris was the main block to suffer the impact but many other areas only just achieved full canopy. Summer rainfall was 273mm which was certainly useful canopy wise but the greyer warm weather through Jan/Feb didn’t lessen Vineyard Manager Rich Williams disease worries!

We saw more shrivel than usual in the Pinot Noir this season which may have been from early season heat and/or the higher than usual Summer moisture. However this is not a problem for the wine, and in fact may add some further complexity into an already good vintage.

Canopy and crop management over the season required ongoing attention from the vineyard crew, there was little bird damage and we didn’t lose anything significant to disease – which is great news in what was a tough season for many!

Crop intake was fairly in line with estimates, the Pinot Gris was down a bit, mostly as we went back in and dropped more bunches where the canopy wasn’t up to it. Gewurztraminer also came in lower than initial estimates which I think is more to do with the difficulty around measuring variation in “fruit bowl” section of the vineyard.

In general all the whites came in with good fruit characters and nice overt varietal flavour. There was more variation in the Pinot than usual which reflected the larger range in cropping levels we were carrying – but certainly there will be a lot of good Pinot.