Black Estate Season & Vineyard Reports

2023 Season & Vineyard Report

Winter and early spring rainfalls meant vines started the growing season in spring with adequate soil moisture. Very cold night time temperatures in mid October caused significant frost damage lowering yields in some higher altitude vineyards in North Canterbury. Once vineyards rebounded rapid vegetative growth kept vineyard teams busy with shoot thinning, undervine cultivation, and organic spray rounds with short intervals. Weather at flowering was settled but cool with intermittent rain. Post flowering for the second year running we experienced higher humidity levels than normal which averaged 80% through the normally dry December, January, and February months. Thorough leaf removal around the fruit zone was undertaken through the blocks and spray intervals were tightened up to manage the potentially high disease pressure from powdery mildew. Harvest across the Damsteep Vineyard was later than the previous 5 vintages pushing into mid April as we patiently waited for optimal ripeness across the individual blocks.  High quality hand harvested fruit with good ripeness and bright acidity was gratefully obtained.