Take Shelter from the rain (15th March 2012)
Take shelter from the rain
In the words of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The best thing one can do when it’s raining – is to let it rain”. What else can you do?
2012 has been a vintage of raincoats and challenges. The good news is … nothing stops us at Wrights Vineyard from facing off the weather.
Time to focus on the fruits of the new vintage with sparkling clean tanks and an empty winery.
The rising costs of everything, has seen our first price increase in 3 years. To keep absorbing these costs would see Nicola with more gray hair than Geoff!
It’s not just us that says this wine is good. Yvonne Lorkin recently reviewed this wine for us:
“Made entirely from chardonnay, this is an organically produced Blanc de Blanc from Gisborne’s Ormond Valley, and if you’re expecting something frilly and feminine – forget it. This fizz reflects the ‘chaos factor’ of family life for Geoff and Nicola Wright as they work hard to maintain their organic vineyards, their busy winery and three energetic young sons. The wine has complex yeasty, nutty, biscuit-based aromas followed by crisp acidity and a smoky, mineral note on the finish. It is also New Zealand’s only certified organic méthode on the market and it’s brilliant with grilled calamari sprinkled with lemon juice and fresh herbs.”
In the early hours of the morning on the day before the first pick of grapes for the Methode Traditionnelle, we are beavering about at 5.30am. With our mad professor hats on we are brewing up a fantastic load of biodynamic preparation 501. This is a great drop, to be applied at sunrise. Although the clouds did block the initial rays of sun, we got there in the end.
Preparation 501 (ground quartz crystal, amongst other goodies), increases the photosynthesis on the leaf canopy, toughens up the grapes skins, brings longevity to our wines in the bottle and increases the sugar levels of the grapes on the vine. An important spray for us, coming into harvest.
Geoff sticks those toothpicks between the eyelids to stay awake, beaming widely – vintage is here. The bird bangers are cracking through the air, he finally found the bird kites that keep flying off the poles. Time to reap the rewards of what 2011/2012 has brought us.
With the vintage later than normal, the cooler temperatures have seen an early increased leaf drop. Luckily Geoff only did one leaf pluck of the grapes, giving the grapes more leaf so to help the plant have more energy to carry through the extended vintage. The cooling evening and morning temperatures and dropping leaves remind us Mother Nature has brought autumn to bare on the valley.
Although a wetter vintage than normal, there have not been botrytis conditions, so we are facing off the storms with a clean crop. The bunches are nice and open and we have even levels of ripeness. Geoff is very excited with the open bunches, cleanness of the grapes and now reduced leaf cover around the berries due to an early autumn. We have some exciting winemaking initiatives planned for the 2012 vintage wines.
Currently, we are being filmed by Emma Heke of OURS. Emma is making a documentary and television series to inspire young and old minds alike to think outside the square, step into the wilderness and try something new. Emma has been on the road with her 7 year old son, Connor, for almost 6 months gathering stories of those who have escaped the rat race and paved their own way. Check out her website at : www.oursdvd.co.nz.
This week has been a rollercoaster ride. In the last 5 days, we have bottled the 2012 Verjuice – yes, it is now ready for sale to wow your friends and family, also our Reserve Chardonnay 2011 (sad to say the 2010 is almost sold out). We have also bottled the Vintage Methode 2011 (to be released in another 3-4 years) and disgorged more of the Entity Methode 2010.
Geoff, Nicola, Noah, Elijah & Luke Wright