Heavenly weather. Green everywhere, vines flourishing, new wines looking and tasting great, it's all looking very promising right now. That's the thing with growing and making wine; you spend a lot of time hoping that early promise translates into a stunning vintage.
Spring in full swing now, except for the odd blustery and rainy day. Green buds out across the vineyard - a bit early this a year - and rhythmic swing of growing grapes and making wine starting all over again. Lots to do, so quick, easy and tasty meals are very much the order of the day.
Vineyard still can't make up its mind; bud burst here and there, dormant in other bits. All over the place. Still, it looks neat as a pin, as it always does after the pruners have finished their work. Row after row of tidy vines, clinging to the wires and waiting for Gisborne's summer heat to fire them up...
Wish the weather would make up its mind. Brilliant spring sunshine and birdsong one day; rain, wind and mud the next! Oh well, it's all good for the vines. They can't have it too easy, not even out here on the perfect Poverty Bay flats, and it will be bud burst and green everywhere soon enough, no matter what the weather brings.
Oh it's cold; cold and wet again, the memories of last week's sunshine just a dim blur. The vineyard is almost pruned, stark brown fingers sticking up at the sky. Soon though, buds will burst, and it will all start again. Time to get inside and have something quick and satisfying, Spade Oak style, while contemplating the next vintage.
Cold,but crisp and clear; beautiful, typical mid-winter Gisborne weather, blue skies, warm sun, perfect for a midday stroll through the vines, surrounded by the bird song which means spring is not far off now. Of course we'll have another cold snap or two - or three - to deal with before bud burst, but right now, we're just loving the gorgeous weather!
None so blind as a professional wine judge. One opinion.
Out of the cold, wet, uncomfortable and unforgiving vineyards this week, and into the cheery fire-lit warmth of The Marina Restaurant where, on the longest night of the year, local food and wine lovers gathered for a seven-course degustation menu matched by chef Stephane to Spade Oak wines.
Rain at last, which means mud of course, and the chill of winter. The happy gang of pruners from Tonga, who've tended the
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