2018 Harvest Report
Harvest began with a baby… Our winemaker’s first child was born the day before we started picking and like the changes to normal life associated with starting a family the 2018 vintage also had many changes from what we once called a normal season.
It was a season where an entire year’s worth of rain fell between spring and autumn. This was strangely contradicted by the fact that it was the warmest and sunniest season since 1998. To many North Cantabrians relief, it was also a season where the wicked nor-westerly wind didn’t ruin every social gathering attended.
We began picking early on the 14th of March with our zesty Hellblock Riesling and shortly after with punchy top terrace Sauvignon blanc. We were a little bemused by the acid levels remaining so high in the early samples/picks given the warm season to date and that all other parameters were suggesting the fruit was in the zone.
A relaxed period of “graze” picking of gloriously sun kissed Chardonnay occurred for the next week and a bit while we were waiting for acid levels to fall and flavour to fully develop in the other varieties. This ended with 40 mm of rain at the end of the month and once a cool wind had dried the grapes a period of “GET GOING” frantic picking of our Pinot noir commenced.
By mid-April all that remained to pick was our Merlot and Cabernets which were enjoying the abundance of Autumn sunshine. The winery was a hive of activity by this stage with small Pinot noir ferments covering the floor keeping Jan our extremely passionate Canadian intern along with Britt our wonder mum-to-be jack of all trades very busy.
We held our nerve with the remaining varieties until full maturity was reached at the start of May while the rest of the vines in the valley had lost the leaves and shut up shop.
Our 2018 wines will pack a lot of punch with intense aromatics, rich and juicy mouthfeel all threaded together with driving acidity and structured tannins.
Overall the 2018 vintage installed a sense of great satisfaction, the growing season was not perfect which meant we all had to work bloody hard for it and the results so far have not disappointed.