Almost time for harvest 2015 at Gibbston Valley
Fall has arrived in Central Otago. For Gibbston Valley Winery, that means it’s almost time for another harvest. For wine drinkers it's good news that another vintage of premium handcrafted wine is about to be underway. Ready your glasses.
Visitors who take the scenic 25-minute drive from Queenstown to Gibbston will see signs of this along the way. The road winds along several vineyards, all of which are now covered with nets to protect ripening grapes from hungry birds eager to peck away at the succulent fruit.
Once at Gibbston Valley Winery, you can take a closer look at what this lead up to harvest looks like at our organic Home Block vineyard. This time of year, Home Block is alive with colours as the fruit ripens and changes from electric green to deep shades of amethyst and plum, a process called veraison.
It’s a gradual transition, yet the variations in colours are noticeable almost daily. Once the grapes have reached their prime, a careful decision made only by our winemaking team, it will be time to start picking.
Location is everything
Home Block, which is certified organic by BioGro New Zealand, is one of two Gibsbton Valley vineyards in Gibbston. The other, Glenlee, is located next to the winery.
Gibbston Valley also has sites in Bendigo including the award-winning School House and China Terrace vineyards. Located at different altitudes and in different subregions, the sites have distinct climates that impact how the fruit ripens. The various picking dates result in a long harvest to vintage season for our winemakers, but the fruit quality is always the consoling factor.
Preparing for harvest
To prepare for this, our winemakers are working at a constant pace emptying barrels from the wine cave, sending the 2014 vintage of single vineyard Pinot Noirs off to bottling and arranging the fermenters to make room for the next vintage.
If you're planning a trip to Queenstown, this is a wonderful time of year to visit Gibbston Valley and see our winemakers in action along with the beautiful colours of ripening fruit at our Home Block vineyard. This can be experienced on one of our wine cave tours.
Keep checking back as we’ll continue to post updates throughout the 2015 harvest to vintage season.
You can see photos of veraison at our Home Block vineyard below.