Great New Zealand wine harvest despite climate challenges

The global phenomenon of climate change caused difficulties with the grape harvest in New Zealand this year.
Jackson Estate wines from New ZealandJackson Estate wines from New Zealand
Jackson Estate wines from New Zealand

Reports are now coming in concerning the 2022 harvest in March to May and the quality of the wines produced.

Jackson Estate, one of the top producers based in the Marlborough region, has produced characterful and elegant wines, despite significant challenges in the lead-up and during harvest.

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Throughout this time, there were unusual significant rain events which can spell disaster unless managed carefully by the estate owner.

Matt Patterson-Green, head winemaker at Jackson Estate commented: “Whilst we did experience a lot of rain sprinkled through the vintage, we are extremely lucky to have vines of some age and these have always been able to handle rain that, in other younger vineyards, caused serious issues due to fruit splitting, dilution and disease. It is a real testament to our vineyard team that all our fruit reached the winery clean and as disease free as possible, and as a result we have fermented everything out as we would in any other year.”

Matt continued: “We are delighted that when doing our grading tasting we found that 90 per cent of our post ferment tank components were the grade of 2016/2020 or higher! I am expecting the blended wines across the board will be up to their usual standard of precision and elegance and will be a continuation of the high standard of the Jackson Estate wines.”

Whilst awaiting the finished 2022 wines in the future, other vintages of Jackson Estate are readily available now, perfect for summer drinking. Jackson Estate Stich Sauvignon Blanc 2021 is available from Ocado, Waitrose and Majestic at around £13 - £14 per bottle. One of the top NZ Sauvignons, it represents great value and came from another difficult vintage – that time due to reduced quantity, the vineyards having been hit by exceptional late frosts – climate change again?

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The wine was fermented at low temperature to maximise flavours and aromatics and spent a number of months on the lees after fermentation to add complexity and depth. Named after one of the pioneering founders of the Estate, John Stichbury, Stich Sauvignon Blanc has a beautiful balance, with citrus and stone fruit flavours and aromas, together with gooseberry and lime. A restrained, elegant wine combining the best of old world and new world Sauvignon characteristics.

Jackson Estate produces a range of red wines from Pinot Noir at different quality levels, with one which comes from the 2018 vintage and is named ‘Vintage Widow’ – an allusion to the forgotten families waiting for the long hard work of the harvest to have finished. The wine is made from hand-picked grapes from the oldest vines in unirrigated vineyards, so producing top quality fruit. Aged for 10 months in 100% French oak barrels, the wine is rich, elegant and full-bodied, with spice and cigar-box aromas alongside red fruit flavours. Medium, well integrated tannins show top, modern winemaking skills. A sheer joy with grilled or barbecued lamb chops. £21 from Ocado, on offer at £17 until August 30.

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