Growing season (Oct-Apr) data:
Growing Degree Days (heat units)
I will remember 2013 as a “Goldilocks” season and vintage – yields slightly above long-term averages and weather not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry (while we had an extended dry period a look at the monthly rainfall figures will show that we were never in drought). If there is a Martinborough winegrower who wasn’t happy this season they’re probably never going to be happy.
Having enthused about the season I find I have to start with a Mea Culpa. In previous seasons I have used the nearest dedicated weather station to provide the data for our Growing Degrees Days summary. It turns out that, due to its proximity to other structures this weather station is likely to be over-stating temperature. The Growing Degree Days figures for this year are sourced from another local weather station that is set up in accordance with the rules that Metservice specify for siting weather stations. I haven’t yet re-calculated the previous seasons shown above but it is likely that, excepting the cold 2012 vintage, they will be ranged around the 2013 figure.
The other point to note is that, due to the way it is calculated, the Growing Degree Day model tends to over-state effective heat in seasons with a high proportion of warm nights (typically La Nina years) vs. seasons with more cool nights. 2013 was definitely a “cool n ight” year so the 1105 units, while not particularly high, were extremely effective.
In sharp contrast to the 2012 vintage, which provided a stern wine-making challenge, the wines of 2013 practically made themselves with the condition, sugar/acid balance, and flavours of the grapes near to perfect. 2010 is still, for me, the outstanding vintage of recent memory but 2013 is likely to give it a run for that title. Time, as always, will tell.
Here are the average harvest parameters for each variety:
|Variety||Brix||pH||Acidity (g/l)||Yield (t/ha)|