Misha’s Vineyard 2021 Harvest Report – Bendigo, Central Otago

OUR 2021 HARVEST IS NOW COMPLETE! A season report from Misha’s Vineyard.

Harvest 2021 team
After September’s chilly and windy start to the season, we moved into warmer and more settled weather for the next couple of months enabling some fast growth on the vineyard. By the end of November when flowering started on the lower blocks, (a week earlier than normal), the spring winds came with a vengeance causing leaf shatter and shoot damage on some of our blocks – especially our terrace of Pinot Gris.

Michelle & Olly plan the day
The strong winds continued into December bringing a dip in temperatures just as flowering was occurring on the higher altitudes of the vineyard, so overall it was an elongated flowering period. By the end of December, the wind stopped but wet and cloudy conditions ensued. Fruit set across the vineyard was uneven and our initial expectations for 2021 were for a lighter crop.

The cool and wet conditions continued into January, by February we finally had a period of much warmer temperatures which extended through March. It seems the combination of rain in January and then two months of warm and consistent conditions meant the canopy and crop looked much better than initially expected with berries a little larger than usual.

Tasty Grapes!
The blocks where fruit set hadn’t been impacted by wind were very fruitful and fortunately this included most of our Pinot Noir blocks. Gewürztraminer also fared well this season with it being one of the largest crops we have ever had on the vineyard. Fruit condition at harvest was very good, in fact probably some best we have seen in terms of flavour. We achieved good sugar levels and acid levels were lower than normal – possibly due to some of the larger than usual berries and also extra heat at end of season. Picking commenced on the 29th March for the Pinot Noir for our Rosé but the harvest in earnest commenced in the 2nd week of April and continued until 29th April with the Pinot Gris being the last to be harvested.

In terms of heat summation, it was an above average season with just over 1100 Growing Degree Days (GDDs) – having had only 852GDDS in 2020.

How are the wines looking so far?
“The Rosé which was the first of the wines harvested has just gone dry (finished fermenting) and looks great. It’s a little early to pass final judgement on the other wines but they all look very promising. Certainly the Gewürztraminer looked excellent at picking and the Pinot Noir’s are showing good colour with lots of strong fruit expression” said Olly Masters, Winemaker, Misha’s Vineyard.

Pinot Gris looking stunning!