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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 what we need and get.
Frost fighting sprinkler systems backed up by a good water supply and diesel engines have proved to be the most reliable frost protection for orchards and vineyards in the southernmost depths of Central Otago.

These photos taken this morning show one of the reasons Grasshopper Rock pinot is a little different – ripened under ice!