Good leaf cover up top and moisture in the soil below is setting up our Hawke’s Bay vineyards for a great run-up to the 2021 harvest.
“The rain we had in November has provided good soil moisture. Together with warm weather, this has created a lush canopy and our task now is to ensure that we get enough sun and wind exposure for the grapes,” says Hawke’s Bay Viticultural Manager Tony Smith.
While the vineyard staff are trimming the vines and plucking leaves, the vines are working hard to start pushing the grape berries through veraison. This process, during which the berries change colour – from green to black in red varieties and golden in white varieties. At the same time, the grapes become softer and sweeter. Veraison has just started and will run a few more weeks.
“The drier we can keep the grapes until harvest, the better,” Tony says.
With some wet weather in the long-term forecast, the team are bracing to set up the vines to dry quickly once the rain has passed.
“All we can do now is trim, pluck … and pray!”