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 March – which we were very thankful for.

The season in more detail:

Winter pruning and tying down was completed late August 2012. Conditions were testing with one week of hoar frosts - spectacular but cold. We last experienced hoar frost this severe in winter 2006 leading in to the cool 2007 vintage.

Spring 2012 was 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 was the lowest we have experienced since 2005.

December. 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.

February-March. On 13 Feb we noticed the first sign of veraison and by 3 March we were well through colour change. Late ripening bunches were removed following veraison to lighten the crop load and maximise ripeness in bunches intended for the final wine
Harvest 22 April. Hand harvest started on 22 April which was a little earlier than expected. With a large picking crew of 46 people, the grapes were picked and in the winery within four days. Average bunch weights were less that the large 2011 and 2012 vintages but at 126 grams were bigger than we expected. Grape bunches were in excellent disease free condition with little shrivel.

May 2013


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