The 2017-18 season will be remembered as one which was consistently warmer day to day than previous years. It was not that temperatures were necessarily
higher, it was more a sense of milder conditions overall, rather than suffering extremes. The result, was much earlier vine growth and seasonal
development than has been seen in recent memory. The consistently warm conditions from the start of the season resulted in one of the earliest
known starts to vintage at EH. Picking of our new (young) chardonnay clones at our inland Triangle vineyard started on the 26th February, over
two weeks earlier than normal. 12 days into picking, however, the Chardonnay picking was marred by the onset of 45mm of rain and a stint of two
and half weeks of wet conditions.
Thankfully, plenty of hard work much earlier in the season well and truly paid off, with blocks of fruit coming off clean after surviving prolonged periods of wet weather. A dry spell of about a week allowed early reds (Merlot plus some Syrah) to be picked at our Gimblett and Triangle vineyards at premium ripeness. This was also an important final stage of ripening for our later Icon Syrah and Cabernet blocks. These blocks require longer, slower ripening phase and a cooling down of temperatures in early to mid-April suited these perfectly. The result, even with the return of wet weather was some of the best blocks of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon ever picked in the history of EH.We invited wine writer Raymond Chan to taste some new releases as well as red barrel samples, see Raymond's report here.
Jon Peet, our viticulturist has also put together a full growing season report for 2018 vintage, to read more or download, click here.