Growing season (Oct-Apr) data:
Growing Degree Days (heat units)
There’s always a danger with catch phrases like “small but perfectly formed” that somewhere in the past I’ve used it to describe a similar vintage. If I have, mea culpa!
The “small” part of the equation was established during the first half of the growing season with very cool and windy conditions prevailing right through until close to Christmas. If you compare seasonal Growing Degree Days, the heat units for October – December 2014 track very closely to the 2011-12 season which produced our last under-sized harvest.
Happily, the second half of the growing season was almost the opposite of the first half with some of the warmest, and certainly driest, months in recent history. Again, using the comparison with the 2011-12 season, for the first half of the 2014-15 season, heat units were behind 2011-12 but by the end of the season had reached 1148 compared to 988 for 2011-12. The smaller crop was further depleted by a couple of extreme wind events in January which hammered the vines and broke several posts. Irrigation was essential to maintain the vines ability to ripen the grapes and to help them recover from the wind damage. The latter part of the season was very benign and with the second half warmth, we commenced harvesting at our normal time, around the beginning of April. With the dry Summer, disease pressure was minimal and, despite some rain falling over harvest, the small crop of grapes came into the winery in perfect condition. Juice parameters (brix, pH, TA) were straight out of the text book and, more importantly, the juice flavours were both expressive and concentrated, “perfectly formed”.
There will only be small volumes of wine from vintage 2015 but, when released, they will be well worth seeking out.
Just a reminder re the Growing Degrees Days table above. Prior to 2013 I 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 was likely to be over-stating temperature. The Growing Degree Days figures since 2013 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 re-calculated the earlier seasons but it is likely that, excepting the cold 2012 vintage, they will be ranged around the 2013 figure.
Here are the average harvest parameters for each variety:
|Variety||Brix||pH||Acidity (g/l)||Yield (t/ha)|