Back to Blog

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 2017 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) ...

January 18, 2014

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, tasting of 2008 to 2012 vintages

Sam Kim, wine writer and wine judge, visited Grasshopper Rock in September 2013 and has recently released his tasting notes below. Vertical tastings, like this, are the best and most interesting way to capture the quality of a vineyard. The wines below span five years from our third vintage to our latest release in 2014. All vines were planted in 2003 so we are seeing a significant change in vine age over the vintages. There is significant vintage variation due to the weather...

January 16, 2014

New to buying online

Purchasing Grasshopper Rock online is a simple process. The following steps will show you how the shop looks and the pages you will progress through to complete your order. Decide what to buy, add it to your cart or go straight to checkout, complete your delivery details, complete payment details and its done. We take care of the rest. We will email you immediate confirmation of your order and we will contact you again when the order is shipped. We process Visa and Mastercard. If you want to pay...

November 28, 2013

2014 vintage season (full report)

By September, last year's canes were pruned and a single cane tied down for the 2014 vintage. Apart from some early winter frosts and the odd snowfall, winter was relatively mild and pleasant for pruning. Soil temperatures were ahead of average leading into what looked like being a very early bud burst. A cooler period of weather in September and early October help delay bud burst long enough for early shoots to avoid a few frosts. Frosts in October and early November meant frost...

November 21, 2013

Awards and reviews - 2009 Grasshopper Rock

Awards GOLD - Bragato Wine Awards 2011 GOLD - Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Competition 2010 BLUE-GOLD and TOP100 - Sydney International Wine Competition 2011 SILVER - Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2011 SILVER - London International Wine and Spirits Competition 2010 SILVER - International Wine Challenge 2011 Reviews Raymond Chan - Mar 2011 18.5-/20.0, 5 STARS * * * * * Very dark, deep, black hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, this has a very full, r...

November 19, 2013

Awards and reviews - 2010 Grasshopper Rock

Awards Champion Wine of the Show Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012 Champion Pinot Noir Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012 Cuisine magazine Top New Zealand Pinot Noir 2012 GOLD (Elite) – Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012 GOLD - Bragato Wine Awards 2012 GOLD - NZ International Wine Show 2012 GOLD - Spiegelau Internationa Wine Competition 2012 Reviews Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012 - GOLD Confident and dramatic showing power and grace. The bouquet is perfumed showing dark che...

November 19, 2013

Awards and reviews - 2012 Grasshopper Rock

Awards ELITE GOLD - Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013 BLUE-GOLD and TOP1OO - Sydney International Wine Competition 2014 GOLD - Spiegelau International Wine Competition 2014 Reviews Michael Cooper - Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines - 5 STARS, February 2014 Estate-grown in Alexandra, this is typically a wonderful buy. Retasted in February 2014, the 2012 vintage (5*) is unfolding superbly. Matured in French oak barriques (30 per cent new), it is highly scented, deeply coloured...

November 19, 2013

Awards and reviews - 2011 Grasshopper Rock

2011 was a warm vintage and produced an elegant and refined expression of Grasshopper Rock. Awards GOLD – International Wine Challenge 2013 BLUE-GOLD and TOP100 wine - Sydney International Wine Competition 2013 SILVER - Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2013 SILVER - Spiegelau International Wine Competition 2013 Reviews Bob Campbell MW - Gourmet Traveller Wine, Oct 2013 - 95/100 & 5 STARS Deeply scented pinot noir with floral, mineral, raspberry, and savoury/fresh herb flavours...

November 19, 2013

2013 vintage

Our predictions that this was going to be a cool season were right but it did end up better than we expected and closer to an average season, at least in terms of overall heat. The extremely cool spring resulted in reduced flower development. However a perfect period of fine warm weather for flowering in late December meant nearly every flower became a berry. The late harvest we were expecting was not quite so late due to a couple of month of above average temperatures in February and Marc...

November 6, 2013

2012 vintage

A rollercoaster season. After an outstanding flowering and fruit set in spring, nature brought us back to the reality of growing Pinot Noir this far south. By the end of February total solar energy had been average for the season but in March temperatures drop dramatically putting us on a very slow ripening path. Large tight grape bunches and heavy rainfalls in summer increased the disease risk and raised fears of a difficult harvest. Fortunately the weather changed after 12 March and there has ...

November 6, 2013

2011 vintage

August, September and October were slightly warmer than average with significantly fewer frosts in September and October than would normally be expected. November and December continued to be significantly warmer and settled resulting in a near perfect flowering and fruit set. Fruit set was unusually consistent across all blocks. Berry size was large and comparable to or larger than 2006. Bunch sizes were large, requiring the removal of many bunches to reduce crop levels per vine. Fe...

November 6, 2013

Hill of Grace – one of the most unique single vineyard wines in the world

The Henschke’s Hill of Grace is remarkable for the age of the oldest vines (150 years) and for its place in history as one of Australia oldest single vineyard wines. Hill of Grace has carved out a reputation as one of the most important single vineyard wines in Australia....

September 16, 2013

Grasshopper Rock helping define new Riedel glassware

Here is a brief update on my original article written in June 2013. The original article, unchanged below, includes links to interesting video and articles from the development period. Two years on from the first comparative tasting, Central Otago Pinot Noir now has its own unique glassware and Grasshopper Rock is excited to have been involved in the development process. Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2010 was one of the wines used in the second workshop to decide which of the final four possible...

June 25, 2013

The frost challenge – ripening grapes under ice

The 2013 vintage is not picked yet and we need another two weeks of ripening to get the right balance. This means protecting the vines against damage from some pretty severe autumn frosts. There have been two minus 3 degree frosts in the last week and we aim to always be ready for such events. It’s a tough place to grow grapes here and you need balls of steel – it is not for the faint hearted. A miserable 5 growing degree days for April to date is not much help but good solar energy is ...

April 10, 2013

Vintage 2013 preview – how great?

It is the end of March and already there is a lot of hype about the 2013 vintage in New Zealand with comments flowing like “best in 90 years” and “vintage of a life time”. Down in Alexandra at the southernmost vineyard sites we have not been quite so bullish. Up until now I have been sceptical about this vintage even being warm enough to fully ripen pinot noir grapes at Grasshopper Rock. While the rest of NZ has basked in a long period of fine and settled weather and the north island ...

March 28, 2013

Pinot Noir Celebration 2013

Wellington 28-31 January 2013 There is a lot of excitement and anticipation as we enter the last few days before the Pinot Celebration. There are great expectations building around the event which is held every three years. In 2010 Grasshopper Rock had its first year as a participating winery. 2013 will be our second event. The 2013 event, with over 100 of the top Pinot noir wineries, feels more important than ever. NZ Pinot noir has come a long way in a couple of decades, from nothing until M...

January 15, 2013

Ah Grasshopper – it is going to be a cool vintage

Grasshopper has been sitting on the rock long enough to feel a cool vintage coming. The 2013 vintage is expected to cooler than normal. Following the difficult vintage just concluded in the northern hemisphere, Grasshopper feels the Rock is on track to experience one of its coolest vintages for many years. Already some of the weather patterns are looking like previous cool years. This last winter we experienced the most extensive period of hoar frosts since the hoar frosts of winter 2006. Th...

November 2, 2012 Posts 26-50 of 68 | Page prev next
 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT