Well the 2017 harvest will be remembered for a long time! First, and most excitingly, it was out first harvest on the vineyard. Everything was new and the sense of anticipation grew each week as the berries developed deeper colours and the flavours started to come out as the ripening progressed. The Pinot Noir especially which turned in a week from inedible to having to remind us to leave some on the vines for the winemaker.
Daily routines would include the tasting, checking on the canopy and making sure no pesky birds had gotten through the nets. Then as April started we were sampling the sugar levels of the bunches and starting to plan what day to pick the grapes. The basic process is keeping the canopy green for as long as possible so the energy stored in the leaves can ripen the fruit. Yellow leaves and purple berries can make for great photos in the Autumn but it doesn't help you finish the grapes.
We also had no frost issues, we had the sprinklers on once from memory so we were looked after in that area.
The other reason the harvest will be remembered for is the challenging summer that all New Zealand seemed to have. Down in Central Otago that bar is set very high for what a summer should be. Long hot days, into the mid-30's with cool crisp evenings. We didn't get as much of that as previously. Some even labelled it the worst summer is many a year. We seem to have come through it well though, maybe down 7-8% in yield but the fruit quality was high and the flavours were certainly there. There is certainly a level of excitement that's building...