The season started cool and unsettled, but temperatures quickly warmed up leading to an early, quick flowering. The last substantial rainfall of summer was on 17th December and after that Marlborough dried out. This wasn’t obvious early in January as ash drifting across from the Australian bushfires resulted in a lot of cooler cloudy weather to keep the vineyards green. However, the season warmed up heading into February, and the grapes went through veraison in very good, clean condition. In the last week or so the nights cooled off, allowing extra time for flavour development heading into harvest. On Monday 23rd March, as we were handpicking our first Sauvignon Blanc, we heard that New Zealand was heading into lockdown for a month. Thankfully, harvest was able to continue and the weather played its part superbly. Apart from
the stress caused by virus, the actual harvest was a breeze with some of the best condition fruit we have ever seen. The last grapes were harvested on 6th April and brought the surreal vintage to a close for the Jules Taylor Wines team.