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From the Grapevine: Chief Winemaker, Paul Dawick Reviews the Vintage

My first vintage was back in 1988, with the arrival of Cyclone Bola, which hits at almost exactly the same time as Cyclone Gabrielle this year; the worst possible time for a vineyard. But even though the start of vintage was extremely difficult, the vineyard and winery team at Leveret Mills Reef showed immense fortitude and resilience.

The hero varietal of this year’s vintage is the chardonnay from our Riverview Vineyard in Hawke’s Bay. This is followed closely by our Hawke’s Bay sauvignon blanc, although the Kuranui sauvignon blanc is, without question, one of the best, most well-balanced and flavoursome I’ve witnessed from this area to date. The diverse flavours come from our different elevated sites, which will result in high-quality, complex wine – very exciting.

Our Gimblett Gravel and Tantallon reds enjoyed the extended warm days that followed in the wake of Gabrielle; a juicy silver lining. The Kinross Vineyard, even though there was a lack of access with bridges being swept away, also produced exceptional fruit this season.

Marlborough, in the shadow of the valley’s hills, looked as stunning as the fruit it bore. The viticultural team extracted the grapes in pristine condition and we’re particularly excited about this year’s pinot noir and pinot gris varietals.

We all came in with a smile after this year’s vintage, with high prospects for the stunning wines we can now nurture and evolve. Thank you for being on this journey with us as we go from the grape to the glass, all here in New Zealand.

Paul Dawick

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New Zealand’s temperate, maritime climate and rich, free-draining volcanic soils have brought new intense flavours and styles to the world wine market. With vineyards in prime locations such as Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough.

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