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Awards and reviews - 2015 Grasshopper Rock

Reviews The Wine Advocate #228 –Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW 90+/100 Medium garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir gives fragrant notes of crushed red and black cherries, red currants and wild thyme with a hint of violets. Medium-bodied, it has a great core of expressive red berry flavors supported by grainy tannins and refreshing acid, finishing with a pleasant herbal lift.- Dec 2016 Michael Cooper – Michael Cooper's Wine Buyer's Guide to NZ Wines - 4 1/2 STARS Th...

April 7, 2017

2017 vintage

The unusually warm September was followed by a good October and then a period of below average temperatures through until late February. January was the coolest we have recorded in 12 vintages and some saying it was reminiscent of the cool 2005 vintage. Flowering was good however the cooler weather during berry development means bunch sizes are below average. With the season unfolding as one of the coolest on record we have reduced the crop below normal to make sure we get fruit fully ripe for...

April 7, 2017

Awards and reviews - 2014 Grasshopper Rock

Awards GOLD – International Wine Challenge 2016 (London) GOLD - Sydney International Wine Competition 5 STARS - Michael Cooper's NZ Wine Buyer's Guide 2016 5 STARS - Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review SILVER – Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 SILVER – Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition 2015 SILVER – Royal Easter Show Wine Awards Reviews Michael Cooper – Michael Cooper's Wine Buyer's Guide to NZ Wines - FIVE STARS The more robust and concentrated 2014 (5 stars) wa...

November 1, 2016

Bob Campbell MW visits Grasshopper Rock

Bob Campbell MW spoke highly about the classy Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2014 on Newstalk ZB recently and emphasised what great value the wine is. Bob Campbell also spoke about his visit to Central Otago. We have uploaded the audio here. ...

September 19, 2016

One love - Michael Cooper, NZ Listener

A single focus on one site, one grape and one wine is rare in New Zealand....

September 5, 2016

The world's southernmost vineyard

Grasshopper Rock is one of the southernmost vineyards in the world and is situated at 45.25 degree south latitude. We have always claimed that there are no vineyards any further south in the world and have found no evidence to suggest otherwise. At the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) held in England in May 2016, global warming and its impact on grape growing was discussed and it was claimed grapes were being grown further south than Alexandra, Central Otago at Sarmiento in Pat...

May 29, 2016

2016 Vintage Season

Summary: The strong El Nino produced more cool south and southwest weather than normal in the spring and early summer. Fortunately the weather was fine during flowering and fruit set was good. The cool spring meant bunches were a little smaller than recent years, which is not a bad thing. In February the heat really picked up producing our hottest February ever and was just what was needed to keep the season on track. March and April were ideal for ripening grapes. The quality of fruit picked ...

March 21, 2016

Top 30 Buys - DECANTER, December 2015

New Zealand Pinot Noir 2014 This vintage is set to trump the excellent 2013, offering more complexity, depth and promise, and the same lush, pure fruit, structure and balance. In his report Cameron Douglas MS gives the low-down on the regions and recommends his top 30 buys including Grasshopper Rock 2014. You can download the full DECANTER report below ...

January 25, 2016

Grasshopper Rock flies high with Emirates

An Alexandra basin vineyard is believed to have made the biggest wine sale ever recorded in Central Otago to an international airline. PAM JONES reports. A record breaking wine sale by Earnscleugh vineyard Grasshopper Rock will put new eyes on Central Otago's wine industry and create valuable opportunities for the district, wine industry leaders say. Grasshopper Rock has announced the sale of a quarter of its 2013 pinot noir vintage — 14,400 bottles — to Emirates airline. The wine will be ...

December 9, 2015

Historic vineyard site

The first vines at Grasshopper Rock were most likely planted before 1870 making them some of the first vines planted in Central Otago. Those vines are now long gone however in 2003 vines were replanted making this the oldest vineyard site in Central Otago to still be growing grapes. Here we explore the 150 year history of the site. Prior to the discovery of gold in 1862, the land was part of the very large Earnscleugh Station then held by runholders, Strode and Fraser. The Dunstan, as the area...

October 14, 2015

Cool spring ahead for vintage 2016?

There is a high probability of a cool spring and lower yielding vintage in Central Otago this year. The challenge will be to achieve good yields on the vines but there is no reason for the vintage not to be of outstanding quality. Expect a colder than average spring, especially October to December, followed by a warmer than average January through April period. In total the heat summation is likely to be below average. Already we are seeing a strong negative Southern Oscillation Index (SOI)...

August 9, 2015

Central Otago production stable

Central Otago's total vineyard area and production has stabilised at of around 2,000 hectares with Pinot Noir production being 77% of the total tonnage. Wine production from Central Otago cannot significantly increase until at least 2020 because of the lag time between planting and wine reaching the market. For Pinot Noir grape production, the time between planting and harvest is three to five years and then another one to two years before the wine is ready for release to consumers. The total l...

June 12, 2015

2015 NZ Pinot Noir harvest down 29%

2015 Pinot Noir tonnages are down based on New Zealand Winegrowers statistics. Overall Pinot Noir is down 29% but some regions have been affected worse than this by the cool spring of 2014. Total Pinot Noir production is down from 36,499 T to 25,763 T. With Marlborough accounting for around 50% of NZ Pinot Noir production it is not surprising its 31% drop is a large factor in the national drop of 29%. Central Otago escaped relatively unscathed from the cool spring with Pinot Noir producti...

June 8, 2015

Awards and reviews - past vintages

Click on the vintage to link to past awards and reviews for Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir by vintage : 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 ...

May 18, 2015

Should I cellar Grasshopper Rock?

Should I cellar Grasshopper Rock? Yes. Typically wine critics who have tasted earlier vintages of Grasshopper Rock assess the best drinking period as being from now to ten years after vintage date. For example the 2013 vintage is best drunk from now until 2023. This does assume reasonable cellar conditions. For example this recent review of Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2013 by Sam Kim, Wine Orbit: Continuing their refined style, the 2013 offering delivers excellent depth of flavour and rich...

February 25, 2015

Awards and reviews - 2013 Grasshopper Rock

Awards GOLD MEDAL – Decanter World Wine Awards 2015 BLUE-GOLD MEDAL - Sydney International Wine Competition 2015 SILVER MEDAL – International Wine Challenge 2015 SILVER MEDAL – Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2014 Joelle Thomson – TOP 20 Pinot at Central Otago Pinot Noir new release tasting Sep 2014 Best Buy - 4.5 Stars - Cuisine Magazine, May 2015 Reviews Decanter World Wine Awards 2015 Fine, pretty nose; pure and ripe, blessed with layers of toasty oak, raspberry, strawberry and just a...

February 17, 2015

2015 Vintage Season

The 2015 vintage season has again produced some excellent fruit in good quantity. The season started cooler than normal with October and November temperatures below average and a number of frosts requiring frost fighting. The cool conditions slowed flower development. December warmed up and provided a small but perfect window for the critical flowering period. While the weather at flowering was ideal, the cool spring conditions had meant some flowers proved infertile or set weak berries which di...

October 22, 2014

UK Decanter names Grasshopper Rock in Top 20 Pinots

Influential UK Decanter Magazine has named Grasshopper Rock 2012 one of New Zealand's Top 20 Pinots. Written by Bob Campbell MW the September 2014 feature highlights the stylistic differences between each of the country's five main regions, and the key estates and wines to watch including Grasshopper Rock. Of his Top 20 Kiwi Pinots, he stated "I selected every New Zealand Pinot Noir I'd reviewed in the past 18 months (271), sorted them by score and price within...

August 17, 2014

Grasshopper Rock's ongoing gold success

This week Grasshopper Rock received yet another gold for its Pinot noir bringing the total to 18 golds. The last time I wrote about medal tallies was in 2010 when I wrote a blog titled: “Grasshopper Rock’s thoughts on wine competitions”.I said “Our mission has been to consistently produce quality Pinot Noir. This has driven our site selection, vineyard management and winemaking. Wine competitions have been the best public measure that consistent quality is b...

July 27, 2014

Our winemaking philosophy

To understand our winemaking philosophy is to understand where we come from. We are five families all with a passion for farming and growing things. Our ethos is you do something and do it well.  In 2001 we made a bold decision to embark on a project to grow some of the best Pinot noir in the world. As farmers we knew that meant finding the land which would become our anchor, not any land, but exceptional land which enjoys relative immunity to seasonal conditions not shared by les...

June 24, 2014

Vintage harvest date maps

The following images show the picking sequence for vintages 2016 to 2008. The vineyard is dedicated exclusively to pinot noir and is planted in six blocks. Within these blocks are six pinot noir clones plus a range of different root stocks. Each combination of rootstock, clone and site has different maturity dates and this shows in the harvest dates. The blocks beside the road are lighter soils with more drought tolerant rootstock and the blocks at the back on the foot of the hill are on heavi...

May 5, 2014

2014 grape harvest

The weather this 2013/14 season has not been altogether normal. We had a great spring and flowering followed by temperatures well below average in January. February and March were more typical ripening weather although a little drier than normal with low rainfall and drying winds. April was  little weird with virtually no frosts, relatively warm nights and less hot days than a normal April. The grapes ripened nice and slowly and achieved maximum flavour at slightly ...

April 30, 2014

Raymond Chan, tasting 2006 to 2012 vintages

In late January 2014 Raymond Chan visited the vineyard and we were able to open every vintage of Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir for a very special tasting. Raymond was one of three wine writers we hosted at the vineyard leading up to the Pinot Celebration. With seven vintages to review this was the most extensive vertical tasting we have been able to complete. What is now evident, and was not previously as evident, is the exciting vintage variation we are seeing. The variation is a fun...

February 10, 2014

How cool was January 2014?

We are not sure why but the weather patterns in January really did not perform as we expected. The anticylcones which usually bring warm weather either crossed NZ further north or were simply too weak to keep the cooler southerly fronts away. January 2014 was the coolest January we have ever experienced in the vineyard. The temperature data for the month looks horrible but it is not as bad as you might think. We had a tremendous start to the season in Oct, Nov and December. While January was coo...

February 5, 2014

Pre-event post on Pinot Celebration 2014 & Burgundy tasting

The 10th Central Otago Pinot Celebration commences in Queenstown on 30th January and forty of Central Otago's leading pinot noir growers eagerly await the grand tasting when they get to show their latest pinots. There are some outstanding 2012 pinots and plenty of earlier vintage wines. Grasshopper Rock will be showing four vintages during the Celebration: 2008 - at the Grand Tasting 2009 - at the Winemakers Party (Friday) 2011 - at the Downtown Lunch at Public (Saturday) ...

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