Harvest 2014 is officially complete at Saint Clair Family Estate, after the last block of merlot was harvested last week, just in time for the crew to enjoy a couple of days off over Easter.
At shift changeover on Wednesday afternoon, we popped a couple of bottles of the Saint Clair Family Estate sparkling Dawn 2012, to say thanks to the crew who have all worked valiantly, despite the sometimes wet and cold conditions.
Saint Clair senior winemaker Hamish Clark toasted the team on their hard work. “Thank you all for your hard work, we’ve taken in some fantastic fruit especially the first half where I think the likes of the Chardonnay is the best I’ve seen for a good number of years,” Hamish said. “Thanks to all your hard work, we’ve managed to keep everything running smoothly, and hoping 2014 will prove to be another over-delivering vintage…..from a quality point of view that is.”
Saint Clair founder Neal Ibbotson also thanked the team, and reflected on the winery’s growth since it was initially built in 2004. “Every single person that has worked with us, even just for one vintage, is part of our story,” Neal said. “No matter where in the world you’re from, you can be proud to have been part of what I’m certain will be another cracker year for Saint Clair wines.”
The crew then had the opportunity to try some of New Zealand’s famous Bluff oysters paired with the fermenting juice of what could potentially be a Saint Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc 2014.
Lorenz Alphart, who helps run his family vineyard and winery at home in Austria, has been working night-shift during vintage, and enjoyed having the chance to learn about Marlborough’s flagship grape variety – sauvignon blanc. “I’ve enjoyed the experience, especially working with people from so many different countries and
learning about the different equipment and winemaking techniques compared to at home,” he says. After vintage he plans to travel around New Zealand for a couple of weeks before heading home to begin preparation for vintage in Austria in September.