Saturday, 08 April 2023 14:25

Vintage 2023: North Canterbury

Written by  Staff Reporters
Mike Saunders. Photo Credit: Jim Tannock Mike Saunders. Photo Credit: Jim Tannock

In North Canterbury, Greystone Viticulturist Mike Saunders is very happy about harvest prospects, with Pinot Noir his pick for the season, due to good flavour development at lower brix.

According to VineFacts on 9 March, the Waipara rainfall total from July 2022 to February 2023 was 564.8mm, which is 133% of the LTA of 426.0mm.

They also has a downpour in early March, coinciding with the North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival, where the odd gleeful attendee opted for mud sliding towards the end of the day. Mike says the rain deterred some, but they still had 2,500 guests at the event, which was postponed in 2021 and 2022 because of Covid-19.

While rainfall has increased disease pressure, those with a tight spray programme and vigilant viticultural management have clean canopies and fruit.

Meanwhile, the rain has resulted in verdant vines, ensuring good carbohydrate stores for next season.

Speaking on 13 March, Mike says the first of the bubbly base would come in oer the next week, with Pinot Noir beginning the week of 20 March.

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