New Year, New Vintage
We are now tracking towards vintage 2015. Excitement builds as we face our 35th vintage. I must admit to the extreme joy of having Todd and Richard taking the vintage stress and having Ken and Cameron looking after business. I have become a gap filler who deals with exports and de-heading the roses.
Daughter Rosie has headed back to London after three glorious weeks of Nelson sunshine and some serious fishing action in Tasman Bay. Her Christmas surprise was to find one of our vineyards carrying her name.
The hill block around the corner on Rosedale road, source of Neudorf Moutere Riesling, a good portion of Neudorf Chardonnay, and the terroir driven “Neudorf 25 Rows Chardonnay”, has become Rosie’s Block. Her avid support for the continuation of the “25 Rows of Chardonnay” trial makes the vineyard selection apposite.
Following a cooler than normal spring and dodgy fruit set, the El Niño influence is taking hold in the vineyard with hot dry conditions beginning to slow growth.
Viticulturist Richard Flatman has had his summer team busy tucking in shoots to keep the canopy open, and is aware of the danger of removing too many bunches with such a variable set. At this stage it looks like we will have a naturally balanced crop without much need for thinning.
The Vineyard crew has put in long hours trimming, tucking, mowing, and finally covering the vines in bird-netting as the sugars rise, and we try to head off the Starlings and Thrushes. The vintage will be smaller than usual and we know anything can happen between now and March 23rd (the odds on favourite for start of picking).
In the winery Todd Stevens has led the tasting team (Tim, Assistant Winemaker Simon McQuire, occasionally Richard and recently Rosie Finn) through blending trials of 2014 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. An exacting process requiring double blind tasting to ensure the best barrel selections are made. These wines will be bottled before vintage, assuming the Gods are in Todd’s favour. If the grapes ripen earlier than predicted it will be no fun to manage bottling and crushing at the same time…..
Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide to NZ Wine 2015 gives us Five Stars for Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay, Neudorf Chardonnay, Neudorf 25 rows Chardonnay, Neudorf Moutere Pinot Gris, Neudorf Moutere Riesling, Neudorf Pinot Rosé, Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir and Neudorf Home Vineyards Pinot Noir. And in this week’s Listener he says “Neudorf Maggie’s Block Pinot Gris is already delicious and reveals greater complexity and richness than most Pinot Gris “ A creditable line up for the team.
Enjoy the summer
PS Our Cellar Door is open every day 11 am until 5.00pm – your will be guided by Cameron, Maria and Rachel.