Confident of a good ’17 vintage on the grapevine

Expectations remain 'confidently high'.

Expectations remain 'confidently high'.

HARVEST TIME: Contractors have started to harvest the region’s grape crop and expectations are high it will be another good vintage for wine from this district. A Bay Grape Harvesters machine is pictured in action in a vineyard near the Waipaoa River roundabout. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Part of Gisborne's grape harvest earlier this month. File picture
FLAT OUT: The Gisborne grape harvest has gone into overdrive in the past few days with contractors working round the clock to bring in as much of the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes as possible. The revved up harvest was aimed at maintaining crop quality because of the wet weather. This has been the second week of the six week main harvest and this unusually angled picture was shot on board a grape harvester working in a vineyard just past the Waipaoa River roundabout. Picture by Liam Clayton

THE annual grape harvest has hit full swing from this week and growers believe they have a promising vintage ahead. Their expectation remains “confidently high”.

A small amount of harvesting was done last week as test runs for local wineries, and Wrights Vineyard and Winery at Manutuke started to pick their Verjuice grapes two weeks ago.

“The expectation remains confidently high that this is going to be a good year,” said Gisborne Winegrowers spokesman Doug Bell.

“The crops are nice and clean thanks to the recent rain that was incredibly timely.

“It gave the vines a freshen-up and relieved any soil moisture level stress that might have occurred.”

Mr Bell said it was too early yet to talk about yields because the rain would have increased sizing.

“It will have improved the weight of grapes on the vine and perhaps the rain came late enough in the season to avoid significant disease issues.”

The first grapes off the vines each season tend to be for MC base wines (champagne base).

“Grapes for that use are picked early to retain the acidity,” Mr Bell said.

“It is about a six-week season for the bulk of the vintage but some late varieties will still be on the vine in late April.

“It all depends on the weather and hopefully it is on our side from here on in.”

THE annual grape harvest has hit full swing from this week and growers believe they have a promising vintage ahead. Their expectation remains “confidently high”.

A small amount of harvesting was done last week as test runs for local wineries, and Wrights Vineyard and Winery at Manutuke started to pick their Verjuice grapes two weeks ago.

“The expectation remains confidently high that this is going to be a good year,” said Gisborne Winegrowers spokesman Doug Bell.

“The crops are nice and clean thanks to the recent rain that was incredibly timely.

“It gave the vines a freshen-up and relieved any soil moisture level stress that might have occurred.”

Mr Bell said it was too early yet to talk about yields because the rain would have increased sizing.

“It will have improved the weight of grapes on the vine and perhaps the rain came late enough in the season to avoid significant disease issues.”

The first grapes off the vines each season tend to be for MC base wines (champagne base).

“Grapes for that use are picked early to retain the acidity,” Mr Bell said.

“It is about a six-week season for the bulk of the vintage but some late varieties will still be on the vine in late April.

“It all depends on the weather and hopefully it is on our side from here on in.”

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Should consultation on Gisborne city wastewater treatment and disposal include a “do nothing” option as suggested by the Mayor on Thursday, as well as the five options priced at estimated capital costs of $23.5 million to $42.1m which were approved by councillors?