New Zealand Winegrowers: supply and demand

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New Zealand Winegrowers has issued a warning to all members both large and small to contain the 2011 cropping rates to a level at which supply and demand are in balance. This would seem a simple enough equation on the surface, but with changing fortunes in our overseas markets, comes changing demand and wineries are faced with difficult decisions!

In the Vineyard work goes on as usual. Mowing, spraying and crop thinning are the main pursuits. The young vines in the former olive block are making huge advances this year and will be producing next year. Being of a different clone to other Pinots in the vineyard this block will add further complexity to our 2012 Pinot Noir.

The first signs of veraison (the changing of colour indicating the commencement of ripening) are appearing. Once this ripening first appears it is usually only about two weeks before veraison across the entire vineyard occurs and soon after the protective nets against marauding birds must go on. Harvest will probably be late  March or early April unless the present cooler weather persists.

The good life at Bald Hills !  We have so many green beans that it is impossible to keep up with them!  Sweetcorn is prolific, tomatoes (outdoor) are ripening, even capsicums and eggplant are already being picked! Raspberries were marvellous early in January.  Grand-daughter Lucy picked them every day and we made jam, smoothies and the best icecream we have ever tasted.

Our lovely site now shelters us beautifully from those big rip-snorting winds we are prone to in parts of Central Otago. The trees and hedges now deflect and soften the winds and the sun pours in to our oasis, ripening peaches, apples and figs too,while not forgetting those all-important wine grapes.

Here’s to all of us!

Estelle and Blair