The season started with a moderate and dry spring resulting in a consistent bud break. Flowering was modest on the whole, with some varieties faring better than others. A higher number of bunches than normal was recorded but this was offset with smaller bunches.
The xmas and new year period saw very warm and dry weather for most of the country. The extreme dry and hot conditions continued into all of February placing Nelson / Tasman in drought and under significant water restrictions. Strangely this seemed to have no impact on canopy or vine stress and the season progressed 2 weeks ahead on average.
Disease pressures late in the season were very low given the dry weather. Fruit continued to ripen without significant increase in sugar accumulation. Harvest commenced with the Pinot Noir from the Home Block on the 4th March and finished with Chardonnay from Rosie’s Block on the 26th March - the earliest start and finish we have on record
This will be remembered as an extreme season, not only in terms of temperature and rainfall (lack of) but with events such as forest fires and water shortages. Strangely, fruit composition was excellent, not over ripe as one might expect, and as result we see wines that have a density but also a refinement.
- Todd Stevens, Winemaker