Thursday, March 18, 2010
2010 - a good year for Auckland's Vineyards
With an extended warm and dry summer, Auckland's vineyards are producing some excellent quality grapes. 2010 looks like one of our best years - ever.
Starting around early March, we have been harvesting Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Red grapes will ripen later in the season, with Pinot Noir one of the first reds to be picked.
Auckland's small production (less than 3% of NZ's total) is all hand picked. Thus only the best bunches are selected, and extraneous matter such as spoiled grapes, dead starlings, slow wine writers etc., miss the crush.
I was lucky to sample some freshly pressed Brick Bay (Matakana) Pinot Gris juice two weeks ago. Winemaking is by Anthony Ivicevich and James Rowan of West Brook winery.
James handed me a glass of cloudy cold juice. Fantastic - intense ripe sweet fruit flavours and a hint of acid. Yum. Just wait till those yeasts get a hold on the fructose and start working their magic.