Part 3 – Where did that fortnight go?

Well, my best intentions to keep this diary regular flew out the window once we started picking. In my defence, everything decided it was going to ripen at the same moment and a general clamour of pick me, no pick me, ensued. As I get my head briefly above the parapet I can report that […]

Part 2 – 22/3/13 – not so fast sunshine!

I might have been a bit optimistic about harvest starting next week. Today’s testing results as follows: It looks as though the big rain this week, 92mm all told, has pushed us back a bit more than I expected so we will probably be underway around our normal start date of the beginning of April, […]

Part 1 – 20/3/13 – a week out from picking?

First round of grape testing last week had sugars in the following range: Based on those numbers we were looking at starting to pick around the 25th of March but the 80mm of drought-breaking rain this week will push that back a few days. Everything is looking in pristine condition and the rain which was […]

2012 Vintage Report

Growing season (Oct-Apr) data: Rainfall (mm)  Growing Degree Days (heat units) I’ve been scratching my head for some time trying to make sense of this season and I’m still largely clutching at straws to explain how the seasonal data above can have produced the quality of grapes, not outstanding but certainly good, solid quality, that […]

Vine Age – the interview

I was interviewed earlier this year as part of a student’s (amy hopkinson) dissertation research on the impact of vine age on Pinot Noir quality. Here is a transcript of the interview Roger Parkinson, June 2012 A: the important of vine age on Pinot Noir quality? R: Ah, it’s a good question, our oldest Pinot […]

Polishing up the crystal ball for vintage 2012

14 March 2012 The land of the long, white cloud has truly lived up to its name this growing season. At the end of February, Growing Degree Days (GDD) had reached a paltry 756 heat units. Nearly half way through March we have accumulated a further 50 heat units to  reach 806 heat units in […]

2011 Vintage Report – the season of weird

Rainfall (mm)   Growing Degree Days (heat units) “When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional” – Hunter S. Thompson. The season of weird got underway with a Spring devoid of frosts, the first for many years. Having finally installed a wind machine in the Home Block last year the frost gods had the […]

We’re all in this together ….. yeah right

My alternative title for this blog was something along the lines of “why promoting domestic consumption of New Zealand wine will be vital for price recovery and why industry politics will ensure it doesn’t happen” ………. very catchy (not) and hence the Tui rip-off. The big unanswered question for the wine industry is whether domestic […]

Are small winegrowers going the way of the dinosaurs?

I read an article somewhere this week about the dilemma facing small contract grape-growers in Marlborough. The typical model was described as professional or farming couples in their early fifties setting up, and living on, a contract vineyard with a view to selling at 70’ish to fund retirement. The problem is that many of those […]

It ain’t rocket science; age-worthy Sauvignon Blanc

The latest edition of DrinksBiz (August-September 2010) has an advertorial piece on p.5 about Montana, oops sorry, Pernod Ricard New Zealand,  aspiring to produce a “top-shelf” Sauvignon Blanc that will age for, gasp, “a couple of years down the track.” The article is a bit coy about price but speculates that aligning with “benchmark wines […]

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