Rudi has summed up this years vintage with the name "Achterbahn" which translates to "Roller Coaster". His explanation is as follows: "Achterbahn meaning the number eight or Roller Coaster - a year like the original form of the roller coaster; a figure eight. So you can imagine the dramatic weather going from high to low very quickly and repeating itself."
And his "report in short" ...
Sparkling: Very good
Pinot Gris: Very happy; round and dry
Gruner Veltliner: Very, very small volume – very sad :(
Pinot Noir: Will show lots of generosity, charm and with some parcels the real beauty of our region
As you may be aware, 2018 was the hottest growing season ever in Central Otago’s’ history! Our normal six months of nurturing, growing and ripening happening in a mere five months... and then came the rain, right when we didn't want or need it. But as is always the case with "grape farming", we revel in these challenges to get on with the job ahead to create great wines from our precious "vine babies".
We had a fabulous team to assist Rudi in the winery:
Mikefrom China joined our team earlier in the year on a permanent basis, fresh from Lincoln.
Martin from Austria, was recommended to us from a wine friend there for the Northern/Southern hemisphere influence.
Nika from America, had been working in New Zealand for the past year. Previously tending bees before ferments.
And last but not least, Ale(jandro), who is from Chile; he just seemed to appear one day, with a great smile and easy going personality to match. He was studying "fruiticulture" at the local polytechnic as well as "woofing" - A newcomer to the world of vineyards and winemaking, keen and willing to learn.
A true coming together from around the globe, Team QR 2018 worked wonderfully with exceptional humour, and sadly, we’ve already said our goodbyes as Nika, Ale & Martin have departed for their next adventures!
A has been a turbulent season with lots of wind and the temperature half a degree lower than average in December and January. Although our Central Otago summer was cooler than usual the fruit proudly ripened as normal. As one of the first in the region to begin picking, we began harvesting fruit for our bubbles in mid-March, which was followed by the picking of grapes destined for still wine; Pinot Noir fruit between the end of March and beginning of April. Last to come in was our Pinot Gris and Grϋner Veltliner which was pressed and put to bed well before ANZAC Day! We now also have all of our Pinot Noir parcels safety tucked away in barrels, where they will develop over the next year.