Past vintages: 2011, 2012
Current Vintage 2013
Our predictions about the season have been right. The cool weather has resulted in small berries and small bunches and a late harvest is now inevitable. We have more bunches per vine this year and provided it stays dry and the sun shines it could be a special vintage.
On 13 Feb we noticed the first sign of veraison and by 3 March we were well through colour change. Now we can go through the vines and remove any bunches that are too late to ripen.
The first signs of flowering appeared around 10 December and it was late December before flowering was in full swing. Sometimes a little luck is needed, and this year we had a window of perfectly fine weather for flowering and fruit set.
Spring was been cooler than average with south-westerly conditions predominant. Central Otago was hit by a series of severe frosts on 4 November and many vineyards suffered damaged to young shoots. Grasshopper Rock's frost protection system, based on sprinklers, worked perfectly and vines were not damaged by the frost. The total growing degree days (measure of daily heat above 10 degrees) for October and November have been the lowest we have experience since 2005.
Winter pruning and tying down was completed late August. Conditions were testing with one week of hoar frosts - spectacular but cold. We last experience hoar frost this severe in winter 2006 leading in to the cool 2007 vintage.
Prediction for the season: Cold, but let's see.
Vintage 2013 photo gallery