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Good Season for Grapes, Not for Cricket

Steve Smith of Craggy Range expects to bring in Chardonnay soon.
2009 Southern Harvest Winemakers
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Posted: Feb 19, 2009 3:07pm ET

By Steve Smith

Posted by Steve Smith

The 2009 harvest hasn't started well for us in New Zealand: After showing great resolve and skill, our cricket team was thwarted by a random thunderstorm over Australia in this year's Chapell-Hadlee Cup. (Yes, that is very difficult to believe, but true.) Instead of a comprehensive victory over the west islanders, the series was drawn, and they kept the trophy. Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the tragic bushfires in Victoria, Australia. Our natural concern for human nature shone through last week as we helped the Aussies get rain and kept their pride and courage in place!

The best way to get a feel for what we do is to visit the two websites for the wines I am responsible for, Craggy Range (www.craggyrange.com) and Wild Rock (www.wildrockwine.co.nz). We cover all the major regions of New Zealand and very much look to produce wines that are as much about their place as they are their varietal makeup.

We start vintage a little later here than our colleagues elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere; our moderate to cool maritime climate is the reason for that. I hope to bring you some stories from parts of New Zealand you may have heard of, maybe some news of potential greatness for red wines, as both the Gimblett Gravels and Martinborough regions have enjoyed a sensational season so far. I expect our first Chardonnay to be harvested right at the end of February, with vintage really kicking in about the third week in March. Will keep you posted.

Cheers, Steve

Rohan Lall
Calgary, AB, Canada —  February 20, 2009 12:19am ET
Heading to NZ next month. Other than Craggy Range and Wild Rock, any suggestions on which vineyards to visit. Thanks,Roh

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