In New Zealand, wine producers were in the middle of the harvest when the message came on March 25 about a total lock-down of the country. The relief was great when they were told that the harvest, despite everything, could be continued and completed. “Farming and viticulture have been defined as essential industries, so we can proceed. We have to take a lot of precautions with any workers, but it is fine,” says Olivia Doonan at Tupari Wines in Awatere Valley in southern Marlborough.
The quality this year looks to be exceptionally good. We saw many happy faces during our tour here in March. Jenny Dobson, winemaker at Unison in Hawke’s Bay, says: “We started harvesting very early this year, as early as March 3rd. Until now (March 13) we have only picked white grapes. Everything looks very good. It has been an interesting season with fine weather but very dry, which is unusual for New Zealand.”
Also for Larry McKenna, legendary winemaker at Escarpment in Martinborough, the harvest began in early March, actually earlier than he has ever encountered during his long winemaking career. He expects the vintage 2020 to be superb.
Join us on the wine tour to New Zealand in February 2021.
You can see plenty of pictures and videos (including the above) on our New Zealand wine tour Facebook group.
See the incredibly beautiful vineyard landscape in Awatare Valley on this video:
Also in South Africa the harvest was threatened to be destroyed by home-confinement regulations. But special permissions have been obtained and harvest is done sometimes with a very special effort. Tariro Masayiti, winemaker at Springfontein Wines in Walker Bay explained “a special permit was negotiated with the authorities. We support the restriction of movement of people and so all casual labour has been cancelled and we are harvesting the remaining grapes ourselves, just a small team of core staff.”
Join us on the wine tour in South Africa in March 2021.
You can see plenty of pictures and videos on our South Africa wine tour Facebook group.
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