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Hawkes Bay Harvest 2014

By Steve Wheeler Viticulturist, Mission Estate We were blessed with ideal ripening conditions this year, resulting in excellent fruit maturity and quality in both the Merlot and Syrah blocks. Accumulated GDD (ca. 1497) was higher than 2013. This was due to an excellent hot spring, combined with average late season temperatures and a high April […]

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Vintage 2014 at Wither Hills

By Ben Burridge Viticultural Technician, Wither Hills 2014 has been a great vintage to finish the Organic Focus Vineyard project in Marlborough. A warm season with well-timed rain events helped to develop the lush canopies and ripen the bountiful crops. These warm and humid conditions meant however that powdery mildew was witnessed on an unprecedented […]

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Organic and conventional well matched at veraison

By Steve Wheeler Viticulturist, Mission Estate The hot and relatively dry weather continued and brought on flowering very quickly. The 80% flowering sprays we applied were Switch in the conventional blocks and BotryZen in the organic blocks. Wire lifting and tucking has been completed across all blocks. High temperatures and periods of strong gusty winds […]

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Changes in organic Sauvignon Blanc this year

By Ben Burridge Viticultural Technician, Wither Hills With the grapes now softening and changing colour, it is time to reflect on what has been occurring in the vineyard over the last month. The long dry summer last season combined with good conditions during flowering has encouraged what is likely to be an early and bountiful […]

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Budburst to flowering; organic Pinot perks up

By Ben Burridge Viticultural Technician, Wither Hills With such a warm spring in Marlborough thus far, canopies in all the focus vineyard blocks have been growing rapidly. Budburst and flowering are significantly earlier than last year (1-2 weeks), and the vineyard workers have been doing well to keep up with the job requirements of a […]

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Steady growth through flowering

By Steve Wheeler Viticulturist, Mission Estate Caine Thompson, previously Mission Estate viticulturist, has moved on to a new position at Pyramid Valley Vineyards. We thank Caine for his excellent contributions to this project over the years and welcome Steve Wheeler to the team for our final season. We have continued with a mild and relatively […]

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Nutrition through the season; more conversion plans

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture The latest field day at the School House vineyard saw a good, albeit lower-than-usual turnout of 30 people. Perhaps a sign of the season as much as anything (with everyone preoccupied in their vineyards) – the vines seem to be growing before our very eyes after a […]

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Undervine & cover crop experiments, early spring

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture The quiet ebb of winter has allowed the project team at School House vineyard some time to reflect on the last two seasons of conversion and plan towards the forthcoming one. We’ve decided to implement a more intensive management strategy, both in terms of the timing of […]

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Getting life into the soil

By Ben Burridge Viticultural Technician, Wither Hills Jacqueline Maclaurin, who managed the Organic Focus Vineyard for the last two years at Wither Hills, has moved on to manage Wither Hills’ Rarangi Vineyard. Thanks to Jacqueline for all her hard work, and welcome to Ben, who will be steering the vineyard through the final season of […]

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