May 19, 2021
MOTHER NATURE HOLDS ALL THE CARDS
It’s like the great test of wills. Every year, just when our grapes ripen ready for picking, the summer storms come thundering down from the tropics. Do we play it safe and harvest our crop early, or do we gamble for a little longer for higher brix levels in the grapes?
The lead up to picking this year’s harvest provided Murray Reid, Boulder Bay’s Vineyard Manager, a few sleepless nights. When he wasn’t tending the vines, he was perusing the internet weather sites, and some of the approaching weather systems were causing him concern. “It’s a bit like playing chicken, except that Mother Nature holds all the cards” he says “Obviously we are measuring the brix level of the grapes regularly to achieve the highest brix possible prior to picking, all the while watching for potential weather events that might create havoc with the vintage”. The forecast wasn’t great around the time of picking. After much deliberation Murray and Paul Duffy the vineyard owner decided to do a split pick starting with the grapes to be used for the 2021 Rosé. On 22 March with brix at 24, a team of around 15 Moturoa shareholders, family and friends picked 1800 kgs of grapes and shipped them across the Kent Passage for delivery to our winemaker Rod McIvor in Kerikeri. This harvest has since resulted in 1,446 bottles of very good Rosé which is currently for sale on our website.
One week later, Boulder Bay had a second successful harvest. Having managed to avoid any serious weather event and with the brix level rising to 25, another team of island pickers led by Murray gathered and completed the balance of the harvest, picking a further 1,639 kgs of grapes. This harvest will result in 1,500 bottles of exceptional 2021 Syrah which will be released later in 2024.
A special call-out to the Moturoa Islanders and their friends who are always quick to lend a helping hand with the picking. It really is a case of many hands making light work, and we are very grateful for the support and help.