Marlborough 2024 Harvest

Marlborough’s 2024 harvest was dominated by dry, windy weather, super clean fruit and delicious flavours.

Marlborough 2024 Harvest Summary

Marlborough’s 2024 harvest was dominated by dry, windy weather, super clean fruit and delicious flavours.

What made the Marlborough 2024 Harvest so great?

The 2024 season in Marlborough was marked by the change from the La Nina weather patterns of the last two years to a strong El Nino.

What is El Nino Anyway?

During El Nino, global wind directions shift, meaning New Zealand  experiences stronger, more frequent westerly winds and warm dry conditions down NZ’s east coast. These conditions certainly prevailed in Marlborough in 2024.

What did that mean for Marlborough? 

We had an extremely dry season in 2024. Throughout the period July-March, every month’s rainfall sat well below the long-term average. For the actual growing season (September 2023 to March 2024), only 161ml of rainfall was recorded in Blenheim. This is less than half of the long-term average.

Pinot Gris Harvest5.jpg__PID:7c7b82dd-a20b-48b1-a938-b43476a8c1d4
Pinot Gris Harvest2.jpg__PID:7da3ab7c-7b82-4da2-8b78-b1e938b43476

The beginning of the season

Despite the generally dry conditions, the season began slightly later than the previous couple of years. A couple of very cold nights at the start of October caused some anxious moments and there was a touch of frost damage especially in the Southern Valleys area. In fact, early shoot growth was very slow and difficult to predict, making scheduling of vineyard tasks tricky. Flowering also occurred during changeable weather which led to poor fertilisation. 

What does that mean?

As the berries developed it became clear that yields were going to be impacted and that the total harvest size would be much smaller than 2022 and 2023.

But tell us about summer.

Marlborough’s summer hit with a sustained warm period from around mid-December. The generally warm, clear days continued right through to March and meant that the ripening period was one of the shortest recorded. 

Was it too hot?

Luckily the clear sunny days of late summer also meant that night-time temperatures stayed cool with very big diurnal temperature changes maintaining fruit acidity during ripening.

Pinot Gris Harvest.jpg__PID:aa7da3ab-7c7b-42dd-a20b-78b1e938b434
Pinot Gris Harvest4.jpg__PID:ab7c7b82-dda2-4b78-b1e9-38b43476a8c1

What were the conditions over the
2024 Harvest itself?

With all blocks ripening rapidly, harvest was very short and sharp. Coordinating the harvest was relatively easy with no rain during harvest. Blocks were picked as they reached their potential. Will Grigg’s Pinot Gris is usually our first block to harvest and we kicked things off here on the 8th March.

What about Sauvignon Blanc? 

The first Sauvignon Blanc pick was from young vines at our vineyard on Wrekin Road on the 11th of March and the last block of Sauvignon Blanc from the Upper Awatere was picked early in the morning on the 31st of March.

And the important question: 
How does Jules rate for the wines?

Jules thinks the 2024 vintage wines from Marlborough will taste spectacular:

“The fruit looked amazing and perfectly clean. The wines are beautifully rich and ripe, and flavours across the fruit spectrum have developed in all varieties. I’m particularly excited about the Chardonnay (and SB of course!) And, given the wonderfully warm summer, acids have remained surprisingly firm to balance out the ripeness which is pleasing. Currently, the last of the SB’s are finishing ferment, and most other varieties are tucked up. 😊
My feet are firmly up! Patience now until blending time…"