We kicking things off this morning with a small pick of Pinot Noir for Nautilus Cuvee. We regard this as our ‘indicator’ block as it usually at least a week ahead of our next pick.
This year we picked on the 6th March. Apart from the very late vintage last year we have picked this block between the 3rd & 11th of March in the previous 5 years. The ‘indication’ this year therefore is for a very ‘normal’ vintage schedule. The season so far has not been ‘normal’. Better descriptors would be ‘amazing’ & possibly ‘exceptional’. We did have a few frost challenges at budburst, but they were manageable. Bunch counts are down, but fruit set is good so crop levels are at or just below our targets. We have had high sunshine hours in January & February and a couple of good rainfalls to freshen things up – but then temperatures have been quite normal – not hot. Over the last few weeks the whole of the country is slowly moving into drought and while we know how much the farmers hate droughts, us winegrowers love the big dry at the end of the season. So please keep your fingers & toes crossed for favourable weather over the next 6 weeks which will enable to bring this potentially ‘exceptional’ vintage home. Geez Marlborough is a great place to grow grapes.
For the Twiterphiles out there follow us on @NautilusEstate (Katy) & @NautilusClive & we will post updates & anecdotes from the harvest.
See you on the other side.