The Vintage that kept on giving - Harvest 2023
The 2023 growing season got off to an early start with very warm temperatures in August and the first few days of September; in fact if it had not been for the cooling off of the subsequent weeks of September we could have been heading for one of the earliest bud breaks on record. This would have topped off an all-round, record-breaking period which registered the wettest winter since 1932 (413mm of rainfall, 215% above the long-term average) and the second warmest within the same period. These conditions meant that our vineyards got off to a really good start, powered by fully charged soil moistures and warm ambient temperatures. Even a handful of ground frosts through September and October did little to disrupt the healthy development of strong lush grape canopies.
Despite relatively dry, sunny and warm weather for most of spring, cooler temperatures and periodic bouts of rain occurred through the early stages of flowering, during the end of November and the early parts of December. The weather did however slowly improve as we marched towards the New Year, delivering a fairly typical December with respect to warmth, sunshine hours and rainfall.
Despite overcast skies and continued bouts of rain in the ripening months of January and February, the later days of February and first three weeks of March delivered an element of late summer warmth, well above the long-term district average. This along with canopy management delivered incredibly clean fruit - ripening a little more slowly than we have seen in the previous couple of seasons but incredibly disease free!
Harvest commenced in mid-March with our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for sparkling base. Due to the long, cool ripening season, our Waihopai Valley Sauvignon Blanc was harvested significantly later than usual. But this has suited the fruit, retaining all of its initial vibrancy of flavour and bright, ripe acids.
Fruit processing showed Pinot Noir based rosé’s demonstrating delicious cool fruit purity. While the long ripening season suited our Waihopai Valley Sauvignon Blanc, showing incredible aroma and flavour expression with huge diversity of character. Prevalent is the signature bright acidity synonymous with the Waihopai Valley.
Our hard working, highly adaptable vineyard and winery teams have managed the 2023 vintage, filling both wineries with clean and bright fruit. They are excited about what is to come from the 2023 vintage.