Well, here in Marlborough the hum of sprayers, trimmers and leaf pluckers has died down and they've been replaced by bird scarers and net winders. This only means one thing - harvest is here!
Over the last month we've been busy trimming and plucking the vines to ensure the grapes get the maximum amounts of sun exposure for ripening.
The fruit has gone through versiason (the softening and colouring up of berries) and is now accumulating sugar and dropping acid. In ideal conditions the fruit will gain about 1.5 Brix (% of sugar) each week.
Tasting the early blocks was a bit hard on the teeth but over the last few weeks the grapes have ripened up (with Brix in the early to mid 20s) and the flavours are developing nicely. With the first blocks now being picked - it's looking like another great vintage in Marlborough.
Will keep you posted.
Matt Large, Kim Crawford Winemaker