|Well, it?s that time of year again. The time when every raindrop, every hungry starling, every cool southerly breeze have a cumulative effect on the pigmentation of a winemaker?s hair. It?s just as well that grey is considered a suave, sophisticated tone to have (at least in those of us who measure our tenure in the severals of decades), because that would just be another stress to add to the pile.
But I digress. What I started to talk about was vintage. That time of the year when 6 or 7 months of blood, sweat and tears in the vineyard culminates in the grape harvest. The only time when modern winemakers can shut down the computer and get back to the basics of turning sweet, sticky grape juice into something they?d be happy to take home to mother.
This season started out pretty well, and eventually built up to some great mid-season heat that had everybody smiling. February has been a little less kind and we?ve had to weather (if you?ll excuse the pun) a couple of cool patches and more rain than we really need. But Hawkes Bay has actually been very lucky and has only been on the outer fringes of the lower North Island floods to the south and the remains of tropical cyclone Ivy to the north. Consequently, the fruit looks great, the flavours are ripe, and Merlot is proving it?s worth yet again.
They?re drinking our wine here
Going to Queenstown this year? Be sure to call in at Wai for some great food and a glass (or two) of the 2002 Merlot / Franc. If you?re in Auckland check out VBG who have had Redmetal on their list for almost as long as we?ve been producing wine. And if you?re not eating in Parnell, try Paramount, One Tree Grill or Otto ? can?t go wrong really.