Wineries harvests beat rain
Nelson wineries are relieved the region's grape harvest has largely finished ahead of prolonged rain.
Nelson Winegrowers Association chairman Richard Flatman said most people he had talked to had managed to get their grapes in.
He described this year's harvest as perfect, as it had been early and was big on flavour. "It will be fantastic for Nelson," he said.
Waimea Estates general manager Ben Bolitho said they had been delighted to have all but finished harvest ahead of 10 days forecast rain.
Earlier in the year, once the crop looked likely to be a little heavier than normal, they had decided to crop by up to 35 per cent which had opened up the canopy and allowed the fruit to ripen earlier and in very clean condition, he said.
"We have crushed a record volume this year and with this ‘green harvest', the massive recent investment we've made in our fruit receival area, refrigeration and tank storage - not to mention the brilliant vineyard and winery team working two 12-hour shifts for weeks, we've managed to bring in a fantastic harvest ahead of this impending weather front."
Kina Beach Vineyard is celebrating topping the autumn chardonnay tasting held annually by WineNZ magazine for the second consecutive year.
It was the first time in the 18-year history of the magazine that any wine producer has won back-to-back titles in a tasting of the same grape variety, said Kina Beach marketing manager Alex Wall.
The Kina Beach Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay 2011 was the only chardonnay to be awarded five stars.
WineNZ editor Martin Gillion attributed the double win to "the consistent quality of the fruit, the site and the skills of the winemaker leaning towards uniform quality".
Wall said the result showed how well the Nelson region could make wines.