Gladstone Vineyard - Making premium wine, Wairarapa

Gladstone Vineyard Vintage ReVIEW 2008

The season has been a great one. It was the start of our 'biological' programme in which we implemented an intensive monitoring and nutrient input plan. The goal is to improve vine and soil health which will lead to a more balanced environment with fewer fluctuations in crop weight and improved grape/wine quality. Increased soil biology will improve vineyard hygiene and reduce disease inoculum. Improving vine health will lead to a greater natural resistance to pests and diseases and therefore reduce chemical inputs. We are impressed with the gains we are making already in vine performance and vine health and we are very confident it will show in continuing improved wine quality in the coming years.

Looking back, spring growth was slow due to cool weather conditions and a large number of frosts. This meant the vines flowered later in warmer weather, and with better results! As a result, our bunch weights were where they should be for the first time in 2 -3 years (hurray!). Further, our new bird netting meant that bird problems have become nonexistent. Although there were plenty of birds around we had very little damage and didn't have to employ anyone to sit on a quad for most of March! Good for the birds, good for our staff and good for our carbon footprint!

Overall the crop came in well, and meant we had an excellent vintage for the winery. We ran at full capacity for the first time and all systems seem to stack up to expectations! There's always room for improvement, so no doubt there will be some changes next year.

The fruit flavours were excellent, and the wines are now settling and developing their wonderful flavours in the tanks . Our Sauvignon Blanc has great texture and palate weight. (There may even be a limited release of the famous Gladstone Fumé Blanc at cellar door this year). And, we're delighted to say that we will have a Viognier again this year. Watch out too for the release of our 2007 Pinot Noirs – both the Gladstone and the 12,000 Miles are excellent wines, though there will be limited supply of each this year.

Christine Kernohan, Managing Director/Chief Winemaker
Kyle Mason, Vineyard Manager
Gerhard Smith, Winemaker