Perfectly ripe grapes, a new winery, and a dream team to get through the 2020 harvest.

New Zealand’s Far North enjoyed very dry and warm weather conditions for the 2020 vintage, particularly in November and December, which ripened the grapes earlier than we expected. The nets started going on mid-December and then the harvest began.

The dry weather continued and the first fruit, from one of the smaller Chardonnay blocks, was picked on February 4, 10 days earlier than last year. The quality was fantastic across all varieties, thanks to the hard work of the vineyard team during the season. We were able to pick at optimum ripeness as the good weather continued right through until the last pick of Montepulciano, on March 19.

The new winery and equipment worked better than our winemaker Ben Byrne could have hoped for. Having the winery onsite gives us more control over the process, with an absolute focus on the wine quality that will be reflected in the bottle, says Ben.