Nelson Vineyard news and activities

By: Woollaston Estates  05-Apr-2012
Keywords: Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Grapes

In Spring, my report ended with hope for settled and fair weather for flowering and fruit set. As the saying goes..

In Spring, my report ended with hope for settled and fair weather for flowering and fruit set. As the saying goes "be careful what you wish for."

Summer(?) was trying on the vineyard to say the least, with substantial amounts of rain and very high humidty causing extra work and stress. The weather has impacted to varying degrees on out fruit volumes, and certainly tested our organic disease management practices. Overall as the nets went on I was very happy with the results of the efforts from all the vineyard staff. The entire team pulled out all the stops to ensure we have produced some great fruit and canopies healthy enough to ripen it all.

The reduction in yield should mean a concentration in flavours that we would normally achieve through bunch thinning under the nets. With the below-average fruit set also giving the bunches an openess that will reduce the possibility of late season disease issues.

Part of the appeal of grape growing is that every season is different. Often the season's that require the most effort produce the best results. If this holds true then we should all look forward to some fantastic wine in 2012.

As to the weather I know what I would like but I am not wishing for anything! 

With Autumn upon us, in the cellar, the final blend of our flagship Woollaston Pinot Noir 2011 has been..

With Autumn upon us, in the cellar, the final blend of our flagship Woollaston Pinot Noir 2011 has been decided. Meticulous tasting of all the individual batches of our Mahana Vineyard Pinot Noir has identified 80 barriques for the top Woollaston Cuvee. In January, benchmarking of our blend at the 2012 Hamner Pinot Noir Workshop along side our peers from throughout New Zealand has lead to the realisation that 2011 has provided us with our best Woollaston Pinot Noir to date. The wine will be gently eased from barrel and bottled over the coming weeks. Maturation will continue in bottle with a release date later in the year.

The month leading up to harvest is always one of excitement and anxiety. The excitement of the upcoming harvest provides us with many crucial decisions that will reflect and define the of the 2012 season. This is tempered only slightly by the anxiety, that with about 3 weeks to go until harvest, the weather will remain affable enough for our grapes to arrive at the winery at optimal ripeness.

With a difficult flowering period and a shy summer behind us, the vintage should provide with tiny berries upon loose-formed small clusters. Great concentration won't be hard to achieve in 2012. Cool autumn nights means that the fruit will leisurely ripen. The challenge will be directing only the ripest of fruit into our fermenters. Let the challenge begin!

The Nelson Mail 22 Mar 2011

Woollaston Estates has joined a small but expanding group of..

The Nelson Mail 22 Mar 2011

Woollaston Estates has joined a small but expanding group of organically certified vineyards in Nelson.

The Mahana winegrower, which this year will process about 300 tonnes of grapes, has just achieved full certification for both its 50 hectares of vineyards and its winery, after three years of careful auditing by BioGro NZ.

Last week's pick of Pinot Noir for its sparkling wine base produced the first certified organic grapes to go into its winery.

Company director Philip Woollaston said it was the "exciting culmination" of a long process. "Growing grapes organically involves a certain amount of risk, but the results - better vine health and purer wines - are well worth it. The reason we started doing this is in our assessment of wines around the world, a significant proportion of the best were organic and often biodynamic."

BioGro certification meant that the company could use only certified naturally derived products and no herbicides or synthetic fertiliser, he said, and was now capable of producing wines which meet the organic standards of export markets in the European Community, United States, Canada and some Asian countries, as well as New Zealand.

The external auditing programme provided by BioGro was a "very good way of keeping ourselves honest and an independent yardstick to measure ourselves against".

Vineyard manager Julian Coakley said certification was not the end of the process. "We still have a lot to learn and are improving our methods all the time". Though not a registered biodynamic producer, the company was also using some biodynamic practices and preparations, he said. "I am convinced that working proactively with ecological processes to build rich soil which is full of life is the key to healthy, resilient vines".

Keywords: Grapes, Performing Arts, Pinot Noir, Vineyard, Wine Tasting