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17/04/2009

Gisborne vintage a stunner

Stunning is the word used by winemakers, wineries and growers alike to describe the 2009 grape harvest that is drawing to a close this week.

There have been similar growing degree days to 2007 but with the significant difference being less rainfall in the period November through to end of February. The season started with excellent flowering resulting in good even fruit set and about a week earlier than last year. Consequently veraison commenced a week earlier also.

Growing degree days were significantly higher than last year; a total of 1353 units versus 1240 in 2008.

Even for our smaller winemakers the vintage has been outstanding. "The 2009 vintage has been awesome, with excellent flavours throughout the varietal range from Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and all red varieties including Malbec, Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot and Pinotage,” commented Andy Nimmo of Hihi Wines.

“The 2009 harvest at Vinoptima has been outstanding and one of best for this vineyard being very similar to 2004.Because of the excellent season and fruit quality we have left 25% of the vineyard area unharvested to produce a Noble Late Harvest style and this fruit will not be harvested until June”, remarks Nick Nobilo at Vinoptima. ”All in all this has been one of the best years at Vinoptima to date.”

Wineries with contracts for chardonnay grapes out of Gisborne, are remarking that they are looking at some of the best wines seen from the district for some time.

“Tanks and barrels are full of fresh vibrant fermenting juices with fruit over following,” says James Millton who is still picking red grapes as the sun continues to shine.

With the period of warm settled weather and with little significant rain this has enabled grapes to be harvested at optimum brix and fruit flavours ensuring that some fine 2009 Gisborne wines will follow.

Yields have been average with most growers able to manage tonnages in accordance with contract requirements.

Winemakers will welcome the opportunity to release the new vintage wines knowing there are going to be some fantastic results from this remarkable vintage.

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