In line with previous reports, our unusual season continues - we have just had a record snowfall ! The whole country was hit by a very unusually strong Antarctic blast that persisted for 3 4 days in August. Airports and schools were closed and even Lola froze. We havent slowed up though, the Aussies are here for the skiing and have taken a liking to our wine. The cellar door has been flat out keeping up, especially when the inclement weather closes the skifields for the day. The wines are looking good and we have just bottled the first of the 2011s the Sauvignon Blanc. John managed to get a beer brew underway as well - an Indian Pale Ale. As the saying goes, It takes a lot of beer to make good wine.
We had a kind of a weird vintage in 2011. A season of two halves! Super hot in the months leading up to Christmas and then generally cool and damp right through to harvest. A very mixed bag and not without problems. The hot and dry conditions pre Christmas proved ideal for powdery mildew and then the cool wettish conditions post Christmas resulted in some botrytis pressure in Central previously almost unheard of! Our poor vineyard team were under serious pressure as the normally benign Central Otago summer threw these curved balls. The resultant wines look pretty good at this early stage, but the Jury is still out re the 2011 vintage quality. We had a great vintage crew though Dave from Australia, Abby from NZ and Ariel from America, shown here cleaning out one of the pinot fermenters
We are quietly getting the white wines from the 2011 vintage ready for bottling. Austin Black - the crazy Irishman aka the cellar monk has been flat out getting the wines off their spent lees (dead yeast) and clarifying and stabilizing the wines before bottling. We have just had another weird weather spell this time we had an unseasonally warm start to winter with no snow until early July. Skifields had delayed openings of 6 to 8 weeks! We seem to be lurching from one strange weather event to the next this season, no doubt linked to the very strong El Nino weather pattern upon us.