done and dusted
We picked our last remaining grapes on April 8th – our earliest completion in 34 harvests.
Winemaker Todd Stevens describes it as “ an uncomplicated vintage with the juice at this stage displaying elegance, vibrancy and purity and a certain European edge. We are seeing lower alcohols and are quietly predicting a classic vintage.”
Each vintage carries a certain stress and some hilarity. Traditionally on the last day we have the “Celebrity Pick” where entire staff including the office and shop team pick up secateurs and get amongst the vines. This year it was the trial block of Albarino, and I’ve got to say the “real” pickers were not overwhelmed by the efforts of their new team mates.
Tim lit the pizza oven to thank the backpackers from across the globe and the lovely locals who turn up each year to pick our fruit. 18 pizzas later we declared the winner to be goat cheese, fresh figs, balsamic and prosciutto.
While the grapes are now safely picked the work continues in the winery – plunging the Pinot ferments and deciding when to press, tracking the whites, and every day tasting the young wines and making decisions. It is a crucial time of observation with the occasional gentle shepherding when required.
Out in the vineyard it’s clean up time for bins and gear. Bird netting, randomly strewn about the vines in the mad frenzy of vintage is carefully picked over, rolled up and stored away for another year.
Tim and I will soon travel to Europe for our agents’ Annual Portfolio tasting and to catch up with Rosie and The New Zealand Cellar. They are hoping to have their new retail shop open by the end of the month. It will be the only shop in London dedicated to New Zealand wine and we (and the rest of the kiwi industry) wish them all the best. (www.thenewzealandcellar.co.uk).
At the cellar door we are open every day but in May and June we change to weekdays only. For July and August we are closed so we can paint the windows etc.