End of Season Bunch Comparisions 22nd March

A view of the fruit on Misha’s Vineyard as we approach harvest.

As we approach the end of the season and prepare for harvest we thought it would be interesting to share the bunch comparisons across the various varietals, clones and blocks on Misha’s Vineyard. We have done this each year as part of the last Vineyard Manager’s update for the season but with Rich Williams having no time to wipe his boots clean and do some writing we thought we’d post the pictorial and provide a little information on the season.

Bunch Comparison, Misha's Vineyard, 20th March 2012

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The season has been “interesting” as we have gone through a dry early summer but without the usual associated heat, then come into a cooler late season with some more rain than we really needed. In Central Otago we have been spared the drenching that the viticulture regions further North have received during the summer and and with generally smaller bunches and smaller berries the quality is looking to be good across the region. The late season risk still remains as damp conditions can bring on Botrytis and other diseases not welcome in premium Pinot Noir. The prediction at the mid season was for an early start to harvest but as the summer never generated the GGD (Growing Degree Days) that we were expecting it became apparent we would be back to a more normal April start and potentially a long harvest period as each vineyard block achieved the desired level of ripening.

A general look across the varietals shows good bunch formation, slightly smaller berries than prior years (see last year’s posts) but similar berry count. With the prediction of some fine and warm weather heading our way over the next week we should see our harvest crew starting work very soon.