2019 Vintage Report: frost depleted yields offset by high quality vintage

Growing season (Oct-Apr) data:

Rainfall (mm)

Season 18-19 17-18 16-17 15-16 14-15 13-14 12-13 11-12 10-11 09-10 08-09
October 61 44 42 26 35 105 69 110 40 63 70
November 94 7 118 21 55 67 33 87 29 53 11
December 86 25 44 31 29 36 82 113 25 49 91
January 6 49 52 70 3 48 43 76 76 114 7
February 32 143 53 17 36 23 69 36 11 17 121
March 28 63 62 19 41 71 95 111 85 45 35
April 97 98 139 48 84 172 35 70 103 7 37
Totals 404 429 510 232 283 522 426 603 369 348 372

 Growing Degree Days (heat units)

Season 18-19 17-18 16-17 15-16 14-15 13-14 12-13 11-12 10-11 09-10 08-09
October 93 104 93 85 75 100 75 85 63 86 102
November 144 154 146 118 117 152 88 120 166 146 186
December 233 255 186 187 190 225 232 189 268 220 247
January 305 337 215 264 255 191 230 210 262 266 290
February 223 259 211 299 187 204 186 165 254 264 244
March 229 217 181 221 199 145 175 140 180 215 163
April 86 101 100 106 125 123 119 79 67 141 100
Totals 1313 1427 1132 1280 1148 1140 1105 988 1259 1338 1332

A rather typical season in many respects with one glaring exception. A major advective (cold air mass) frost in October took out most of our largest vineyard, Pirinoa Block. The cold air mass settled to the South of Martinborough and around Te Muna while the vineyards around the Martinborough township were largely spared. We lost all the Chardonnay and most of the Pinot Noir at Pirinoa Block.

Good rainfall up to Xmas 2018 set the vineyards up well for what was a very dry Summer. Heat units (growing degree days) were above average but cooler than 2018. Rainfall over harvest caused some minor inconvenience but we were largely able to pick on desired ripeness without having to factor in disease pressure. The wines of 2019 will be full-flavoured, fine-structured and elegant with good ageing potential. All in all, a classic Martinborough vintage.

Here are the average harvest parameters for each variety:

Variety Brix pH  Acidity (g/l)
Chardonnay 22.5 3.4 7.5
Pinot Noir 24 3.5 8
Sauvignon Blanc 22 3.1 8.8

Roger Parkinson

July 2019

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