The 'Near Drought' Harvest of 2019

Quintessential sunshine, tasty fruit and a very happy Jules.

In a year that will be remembered for its near drought conditions, the growing season actually began with a very wet spring and well soaked soils. This meant that vine growth was off to a strong start, great!

Flowering was slightly earlier than usual with the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay being in mid-flower by early December. However a cooler period followed and the Sauvignon Blanc kicked into gear a week behind schedule with less than ideal flowering conditions, resulting in loose bunches with smaller berries.

The damp spring came to an end on Christmas day with a final dump of 27 mls of rain and from this point on there was barely a drop until early March!

In the height of of summer we were frequenting the pool with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees celsius (seriously hot for us Kiwi's! ), but this warm and dry summer was ideal for growing disease-free fruit and meant harvest would kick off with a bang.

Pinot Gris was the first to be harvested, starting at the Meadowbank vineyard up the Taylor Pass. The dry summer had significantly reduced the size of the berries meaning crop loads were lighter than predicted but this resulted in incredibly concentrated little berries.

The Pinot Noir closely followed and was very similar with tight little bunches with great colour and absolutely bursting with flavour.

The warm summer temperatures reduced the acidity in the Sauvignon Blanc so we picked it at a lower brix to ensure there was enough tangy Marlborough acidity ­and yummy green characters in the fruit.

Overall this year’s harvest was of impeccable quality and a breath of fresh air with no diseases or water stress. With all fruit harvested in 22 days this made for a very happy Jules.