2010 Central Otago Pinot Noir Harvest underway at Bald Hills

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Harvest is finally underway at Bald Hills. Grant Rolston’s Bannockburn casual crew picked the Pinot Noir grapes for our Friends and Lovers Ros√© last week and it was fun picking alongside and joining in with the cameraderie. Despite the laughter they picked fast and I managed to slice into my finger with those nasty little picking snips, trying to keep up. They loved the morning tea too – hot sausages wrapped in a slice of bread with mustard and tomato sauce squirted on, followed by a coconut tea cake and tea and coffee. Two days later the Wanaka “permanents” picked the Pinot Gris – fabulous fruit with barely a blemish and big heavy ripe bunches. Chris Keys, our white wine maker was very happy to see such perfect fruit when it arrived at Gibbston Valley. This week we will pick both Pinot Noir and Riesling and then it will be over for another year and we will be relieved to stop worrying about the birds and the frosts.

Talking of birds, we have had to be particularly vigilant this season. The waxeyes actually force their way in through the netting and they help each other too! Net mending has been pretty constant for myself (Estelle) assisted by a friend, Jane, and Blair has had to start his day with a reconnoitre of the entire vineyard checking for gaps. Bella the Beautiful from Melbourne (vineyard dog) has played her part too, catching a rabbit most days and sometimes a bird or two for an entreé.

OK. I cannot fight it any more. I thought it would go away but it hasn’t. I am talking about social media. I have been in denial. This week I will start tweeting, set up a Facebook page, connect with Link’d In and start a blog! It all seems very daunting to me, being of the older generation and somewhat technologically challenged but sometimes you do what you have to do. I will start slowly with a tweet or two and gradually progress to the others when I get my confidence up.

Our website is being updated and converted to a modern SME platform. Initially, websites existed to inform but today they need to be interactive as well and they need to be easier to manage from the owners point of view and much easier to navigate. It should be ready by the end of May so do have a look, and if you feel there are improvements to be made we would appreciate your feedback.


Estelle and Blair.