Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Harvest Update - Change of Pace

Vintage has been rather full on here in Gisborne for the past month. Our winery is most of the way through the mc base (sparkling) grapes, along with several batches of table wines. Weve brought in just over 6,000 tonnes to date, with another several hundred planned to arrive before the weekend. Chardonnays are fermenting beautifully, and we have already inoculating quite a few tanks for malolactic. I'm glad to see the beginning of our aromatic varieties, with a couple beautiful tanks of Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. We've taken in fair more grapes from Hawkes Bay than previous vintages, primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay destined for sparkling wines.

Due to the beautiful warm weather we're having, quite a bit of tonnage was booked for this week. I was set to leave for Blenheim this evening but my flight has been changed and I'll be staying here until Sunday. It will be an interesting transition as the winery there is set to receive its first grapes of vintage tomorrow, and kick off in earnest starting Monday.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Off Season Bali

I can't believe it's been four weeks since I arrived in New Zealand. I've been so caught up in work that I've barely had time to settle in, much less share much from my recent adventures in Bali. With only two weeks of travel time and limited money, I decided to stay in Kuta for the duration.
Kuta has a unique atmosphere; people from all over the world crowd the narrow streets lined with shops as sauntering pedestrians stop the flow of motorbikes and cars. It's a pretty full-on environment that highlights the heavy contrast between tropical paradise and concrete jungle that melds local Balinese culture with those from around the world (Kuta Beach sunset above, just over the wall from the photo below.
I also thought it would be a good centralized location for exploring different parts of the island as the rainy season brings far different weather conditions. 45 minutes on a motorbike can get you to plenty of breaks along the west and east coast, far less frequented than the infamous breaks along the southern coast of the Bukit that are typically ravaged by onshore winds this time of year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Harvest Update - Plenty of Grapes

After receiving grapes into the winery for the past week, we've processed over 1,200 tons thus far with the majority aimed at sparkling wine products. We're getting use to the new technology and equipment updates; the recommissioning of our newly automated continuous floatation unit has been a bit trying, but we put through 100,000 litres of Chardonnay yesterday and finished with 31 NTU (often, post-solids separation specifications <100 NTU). Yeast cultures are propagating up quite nicely, besides one or two that were a bit slower than desired. Nonetheless, all the ferments are ticking away and tasting nicely. I think things should steady over the next couple days now that the staff is back into the vintage rhythm.