Winegrowers in Hawke's Bay are celebrataing what they say is a 'stunning vintage' thanks to perfect grape-growing weather over summer
The last of the grapes have been picked on the regon's vineyards, and Hawke's Bay Winegrowers chairman, Michael Henley, said it's been an outstanding year.
"The arrival of the New Year brought with it the long, hot, sunny summer days with moderate-cool nights for perfect ripening conditions, whilst preserving fresh acidity," he said.
"Superb harvest climatic conditions provided the luxury of optimal picking decisions not hurried by the threat of rain," Henley said.
He said while yields are slightly down, there is exceptional quality across all varieties.
"Full flavour and tannin ripeness in reds, with moderate alcohol levels. Acid retention and exciting flavour spectrums in whites."
Hugh Crighton, chief winemaker at Vidal Estate, said it was rare that all varieties to have such a great growing season.
"I've never seen such a strong group of wines in our cellars at Vidal Estate, and we're not the only producers with this sentiment," he said.
At Craggy Range, chief winemaker Julian Grounds has just finished his first vintage in Hawke's Bay and was blown away.
"I can only sum up this vintage in one word: sublime," he said.
Warren Gibson of Trinity Hill agreed it had been an outstanding growing season.
"I've not seen a vintage with the threesome of Chardonnay, Syrah and the Cabernet family all shining so well in one season," he said.
Michael Henley said the 2019 vintage will go down in history as one of the all-time greats, and quite possibly the greatest.
"The 2019 vintage will produce wines that will further establish Hawke's Bay as one of the great wine regions of the world, recognised in particular for its Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blends," he said,
"These are very good times for our fantastic region."