THE year 2013 is set to be a bumper vintage for Hastings wineries.
Last year’s ideal weather conditions for grape growing looks like it will pay off for those who grow and manufacture wines locally.
Bob Charley from Innes Lake Vineyards expects to yield a top drop from his excellent quality fruit. Workers are in the middle of picking the fruit at the vineyard ready to be turned into someone’s favourite drop of red or white.
On Monday workers were picking fruit for Pinot Noir and yesterday grapes for sparkling wine were being collected.
Mr Charley said it was the extensive dry period the region endured from July 2012 onwards that set the area’s wineries up for a great 2013 vintage.
“The quality of the grapes are the best we’ve seen for a few years and that should translate to quality wine,” Mr Charley said. “The five or six months of dry weather assisted in ripening the fruit.”
He said previous year’s crops were almost obliterated because of the wet weather.
“Last year all the rain we had pretty much wiped out the crop,” he said. “Once you get rain into the berry it renders them useless.”
But Mr Charley wasn’t going to get ahead of himself with the top quality drop he’s expecting and said with all his years in the industry he’s learnt to take the good with the bad.
“Like any farming, the agriculture industry has its ups and downs,” he said.
“One year will be fantastic and the next will be terrible.”
Chris Wallace was coordinating the picking of the fruit on Monday.
His team had managed to pick almost 1.5 tonne of fruit.
He said roughly one kilogram of fruit equates to one 750ml bottle. The vineyard’s 2013 chardonnay will be available in June or July.
Cassegrain Winery sources its grapes for the Pinot Noir Reserve Sparkling from Charley Brothers and it will be on the shelves in three years.