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2014 Vintage Update: New Zealand

2014 Vintage Update: New Zealand

2nd October, 2014

2014 Vintage Update: New Zealand

The 2014 vintage is the result of a warm, dry spring and near perfect conditions during flowering. The great growing season produced one of the earliest and potentially largest harvests on record. If yields were managed well, the grapes were ripe, aromatic and well balanced.

Timing was crucial however, and those that missed the window before cyclone Ita hit will have struggled. This was especially the case in Marlborough, where winemaker Matt Thomson from Delta Vineyard and The Paddler said he had never seen a vintage with such a range of qualities and claims: “Buyers will need to be careful and work with trustworthy producers”.

At Tinpot Hut in Marlborough, all of the grapes were harvested during the wonderful early harvest weather. Winemaker Fiona Turner says “At about halfway through harvest, there was an early warning of very bad weather that was due to hit about the middle of April. From then, it became a race against the weather to get as much fruit harvested in time.  Those growers who had managed their yields well had ripe fruit that was ready to pick.”

Kevin Judd of Greywacke timed it perfectly: “Magnificent, ripe Sauvignon Blanc rolled in the door under clear skies and cool night time conditions at the start of April”. Describing tropical cyclone Ita that arrived shortly after, he continued: “It brought wide-spread rain across Marlborough and reminded us that we’re making wine on a tiny and remote South Pacific island where weather can be unpredictable! Despite the nerve-wracking finish, the overall quality of the 2014 harvest is superb.”

Warren Gibson, winemaker at Trinity Hill in Hawkes Bay, commented: “The main ripening period for 2014 was similar to 2013 in that it was dry, but it had the positive effects of small rainfalls at appropriate times to refresh the vines.”

The year was disease free for Wild Earth in Central Otago and yields were similar to the 2008 vintage. Winemaker Quintin Quider was enthusiastic about the season: “We chose to keep yields light, this left us with a good harvest and results above our expectations.”

In Martinborough, the 2014 vintage was similarly “early, short, and very, very sweet!”, according to Helen Masters, winemaker at Ata Rangi. She continued, “It’s certainly true in this business that no matter how long you’re in it, you’ll never have two growing seasons the same.”