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Hawke's Bay hails trio of 'outstanding' vintages

Published:  26 April, 2021

Premium New Zealand wine region Hawke’s Bay has reported a third high quality vintage in a row, following “near perfect growing condition”.

The small but multi-faceted region, best known for its Cabernets and Syrahs, experienced a cool snap during November, but with a generally warm and dry season, delivering smaller bunches and berries, concentrating aromas and flavours, delivering an "outstanding vintage" according to Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers.

Average yields were slightly down, but “the 2021 wines are showing amazing texture and concentration, with balance from the natural acidities,” reported Matt Kirby, chief winemaker at Clearview Estate.

If the quality follows through into the wines, this will be the third good – if markedly differing – vintage in a row from the region, with the wines predicted to have long ageing potential.

Chardonnay specialist Tony Bish added: “[A] not an excessively hot summer has led to intense flavours and excellent sugar/acid balance.”

The region is known for its diversity, hosting around 40 varieties grown over 25 different soil types and meso-climates, with the settled and dry conditions during harvest “allowing winemakers and viticulturalist to make planned picking decisions and bring in pristine fruit to the expectant wineries”, said the Winegrowers organisation.

The spread of harvest also helped alleviate some of the feared labour shortages down to Covid-closed borders, with a “the Hawke’s Bay community stepping up to help”.

“Hawke’s Bay cements its reputation as one of the world’s great wine regions, with an ability to consistently produce premium wines with great cellaring potential,” said Sally Duncan, chair of Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers.

Despite a smaller vintage across many of New Zealand’s wine producing regions in 2021 due to frosts, the country has generally reported a good to high quality crop, as recently reported in Harpers

Formed in 2006, Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers is the official regional wine industry organisation representing all wineries and growers.