There were many happy faces amongst the wine producers in Martinborough, up until mid-March. Then Covid-19 reached New Zealand and forced the country, and world, into an unprecedented lockdown, shutting down most of our professional and social lives and releasing a serious dose of stress and anxiety. It was an experience that will surely be with us for many years to come.
Many were lucky, but some didn’t escape so well. We were allowed to keep going, luckily, and able to finish the harvest. In any other year, the harvest is our time for celebration. The relief of harvesting many months of blood, sweat and stress. At picking time we have a community to help us, to share with us and to support us in this joyous occasion. Ordinarily we have a community to help us with harvest, but the lockdown meant the entire process was undertaken entirely by our small team. It was their determination, and the neighbourly camaraderie of others in our position, that got us through. A big thank you to all!!
Who will remember the 2020 harvest for anything else? Well, a brief reminder that the vintage was nothing but spectacular. After a frost affected the 2019 vintage, many vineyards this year seem to have recovered well. A cool spring was easily forgotten after the warm flowering conditions in December. This meant that the yields were healthy, combined with continued beautiful summer weather in January, February and March. So nothing was going to throw us out, nothing. Not even the rain event at the start of April, breaking the drought for most of the country south of Auckland.
2020 is promising to be a stellar year; one to remember, one for the books.