As the last of the grapes are picked in the colourful autumnal vineyards during these sunny Hawke’s Bay days, words such as legendary, glorious, exquisite, transcendent, stunning and magnificent have been heard around the region throughout vintage 2019.
The arrival of the New Year brought with it the long, hot, sunny summer days with moderate-cool nights for perfect ripening conditions, whilst preserving fresh acidity. Superb harvest climatic conditions provided the luxury of optimal picking decisions not hurried by the threat of rain.
The result is an outstanding year for our Hawke’s Bay wines – a vintage for the consumer and connoisseur alike. Yields are slightly down, but with exceptional quality across all varieties. Full flavour and tannin ripeness in reds, with moderate alcohol levels. Acid retention and exciting flavour spectrums in whites.
“It’s a rarity that all varieties in what is a reasonably diverse winegrowing region really sing, but this year is different,” says Hugh Crighton, Chief Winemaker at Vidal Estate. I’ve never seen such a strong group of wines in our cellars at Vidal Estate and we’re not the only producers with this sentiment.”
Over at Craggy Range, Chief Winemaker Julian Grounds has just finished his first vintage in Hawke’s Bay and said: “I can only sum up this vintage in one word; sublime.”
“I’ve not seen a vintage with the threesome of Chardonnay, Syrah and the Cabernet family all shining so well in one season,” says Warren Gibson of Trinity Hill.
This vintage will go down in history as one of the all-time greats, and quite possibly the greatest. Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Chairman Michael Henley said: “The 2019 vintage will produce wines that will further establish Hawke’s Bay as one of the great wine regions of the world, recognised in particular for its Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blends. These are very good times for our fantastic region.”