2024 Vintage Report

Olly Masters, Winemaker reports on our 18th vintage.

“The season was cooler than average with Growing Degree Days (GDDs) of 1040 on Misha’s Vineyard. (Misha’s Vineyard 14-year average is 1129 GDDs). However, this doesn’t really capture the ups and downs we saw within the season. Following some nice early spring heat, in late October, we experienced our first significant frost event on Misha’s Vineyard since it was planted in 2004. Whilst the slopes provided their normal protection with little damage to vines, unfortunately the terraces and gully edges saw significant losses (30-50%). Dealing with the subsequent damage is always challenging for the vineyard
crew with everything from waiting for new growth to reappear through to dealing with normal rampant spring growth — so not an easy situation.

“The return to more El Niño influenced patterns compared to the last couple of seasons, saw more typical westerly winds and a very dry Central Otago. We had just 216 mm of rain over the growing season making water management just as critical as ever. Flowering took place in early to mid-December with warm temperatures and was consistent – where there was no frost damage! The next ‘excitement’ was a hailstorm on Feb 2nd. Whilst causing some loss of fruit, it perhaps had more impact through leaf damage and appeared to momentarily stall parts of the vineyard in terms of ripening. “With a warm December we started to think vintage might be on early side but cooler conditions through late January and February saw us start harvesting at a fairly typical time towards the end
of March with the first Pinot Noir fruit coming in for the Rosé on the 26th March. The cooler end to the growing season also resulted in higher acid levels than are typical and required a little more patience waiting for good balance before picking. The upside of higher acids is that the fruit is particularly resilient and happy to wait on the vine. There was certainly more variation within blocks than usual but we are very happy with the quality of fruit that’s being harvested.

“There is less late season berry shrivel on some of the more sun-exposed slopes than normal – which is good. The late season warm rain from our Australian cousins, only just made it over the Southern Alps and mostly resulted in some pretty snow and slowed down picking for only a couple
of days.

“Pinot Noir ferments for our Rosé are well underway and early indications on these are positive, and the yet-to-start fermenting Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling juices both look great with strong varietal aromatics. It’s too early to judge Pinot Noir ferments but certainly we’re very happy overall with the fruit quality following a challenging growing season. We finished the harvest on the 19th April 2024.”

Olly Masters
Winemaker, Misha’s Vineyard

For a PDF version of this report please click here.

To view a short video of our harvest click here.