The quality of the grapes from the 2015 harvest have Hawke's Bay winemakers optimistic the region has delivered three great vintages in a row. Photo / Duncan Brown.
The Hawke's Bay wine industry looks to have scored a hat-trick of quality vintages. Many in the business are describing the almost-harvested 2015 vintage as a "great one". With more than 85 per cent of the grapes now in, there were already plenty of smiles. The 2013 and 2014 vintages across the Bay were stand-outs with several winemakers describing them as among the best over the past century, and initial indications for the latest harvest are that it will be three in a row. Hawke's Bay is the first region to forecast the quality of the 2015 vintage. "There are few regions that are able to claim three great vintages in a row," Michael Henley, Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Association chairman and CEO of Trinity Hill, said. "We have had really good fruit and yields are down - generally when yields are down quality is better." The only time during the season growers and winemakers held their collective breaths was when Cyclone Pam edged down toward the eastern regions in mid-March. But the Bay got lucky and only the tail end of the cyclone brushed the province. Black Bridge Estate owner and deputy chairman of winegrowers Xan Harding described that tail end as merely "a little drink for the vines". There was, however, an earlier move to the harvesting schedule across the 266 vineyards throughout the region when early April rains became consistent. The recipe for the third stand-out vintage had been the long, dry summer and little in the way of early frosts. Mr Harding described growing conditions as excellent. He said with the bulk of the harvest now in and under the guidance of the winemakers, it appeared Merlot and Chardonnay would be the stand-outs. It is anticipated the harvest will echo last year's in that about two thirds of it was made into white wine and the remainder into red. Mr Henley said that while the 2015 pick had been down across the board, the association would not know the exact tonnage figure until the end of June. At that same time he said winemakers would be able to confidently validate their optimism for the vintage. "Most would be considering this to be a very good, solid vintage," he said.
Did you know that the trail covers more than 80% of NZ's wine producing regions and it starts right here in Hawke's Bay? Hawke's Bay is the oldest NZ wine producing region, first planted in 1850 by the Mission Estate.
Amazing weather, photogenic Art Deco architecture, a seaside town, and more than 70 wineries, are just some of the reasons to take time out in New Zealand's oldest wine region. Hawke's Bay is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, traditional farmers markets and fabulous produce.
Cycle vineyards and coastal pathways, experience al fresco dining and culinary trails, and take in the stunning scenery.
Did we mention Hawke's Bay is the country's leading producer of red wines? With over 80% of New Zealand's plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes, Hawke's Bay produces more red wine than any other New Zealand wine region and also specialises in rich and complex Chardonnays.
SIX REASONS TO SHOP AT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS' MARKET
A world-class attraction, this museum, theatre & gallery is the perfect size to pop into even just for 30 minutes. The museum has a wonderful collection of nationally significant art and objects and there's always something new and exciting happening in their major exhibition spaces, gallery and theatre.
Take your pick across from the extensive food and drinks menu and soak up the delightful atmosphere at Napier's most stylish eatery. Ideally located opposite the Art Deco centre and MTG this is the location that is at the very heart of the action. Emporium Eatery & Bar is located in the historic Art Deco Masonic Hotel, 2015/16 Hospitality New Zealand's Supreme Award winner and Best Hotel.
Much-loved by locals and all of our guests, this independent coffee shop has great coffee and accessories too. We love the Kidnappers Blend for breakfast and all day top ups. Roastery & Espresso Bar: 23 Napier Road, Havelock North, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.
Early mornings as the sun is rising and at the end of the day as the sun sets, provide some of the most beautiful and evocative scenes in Hawke's Bay. Take the car and stop half way up and enjoy a brisk walk to the top, soak in the stunning views from the "Sleeping Giant".
Demand for our lodge suites, rooms and The Cottage has been very high this season and we are delighted to add an addition to our inventory for our guests to enjoy.
This King suite consists of a bedroom, sitting room, dressing room and an expansive shower bathroom. French doors from the sitting room afford access onto the veranda looking out towards the gardens. An open fireplace creates a cosy atmosphere in the winter months.
The sitting room is furnished with relaxed seating, writing desk and minibar. The bedding configuration can be either super king or twin.
The suite has a super king bed and sleeps two guests. The suite is approximately 75 square metres.
Edgebrook pure ciders are made once a year from orchard-fresh apples only and each blend is an expression of the Hawke's Bay summer in which it was created. From the bright, crisp Festive to the rich, mellow Village and the deep, moody Orchard, each cider shows respect for the apple varieties it is made from and the English cider making traditions that shaped it.
Edgebrook ciders are ciders as they should be: whole-pressed and without dilution or flavour additives. Full-flavoured and full of character, why would you drink anything else?
Alvin & Tricia Watson grow a wide range of Chilli and Capsicum types for sale to the restaurant trade in Hawke's Bay and to retail outlets throughout the North Island. From these chillies and their own recipes, are produced a range of premium quality sauces, relishes, pickles and dried products.
F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic is a series of one off, out of the box food and wine events set in stunning locations throughout Hawke's Bay each year. F.A.W.C! is for folk who seriously love to eat, can often be seen with mucky chins, stained napkins and licking fingers after a meal.
There's a summer and winter series and they offer you a chance to get up close and personal with chefs, food producers, winemakers and all the other clever people that make up New Zealand's food and wine scene
Summer F.A.W.C! runs for ten days from November 6th - 15th with over sixty individual events in the schedule and celebrity chef Ray McVinnie is in the hosting seat for a number of mouth-watering events.