2022 Vintage Reports

New Zealand’s wineries processed a bumper harvest in 2022.   The total crop of 532,000 tonnes of grapes was 44 per cent heavier than in 2021 and well ahead of the previous record crop of 457,000 tonnes, harvested in 2020.  ‘All principal varieties contributed to the production turnaround from the small crop in 2021,’ reported New Zealand Winegrowers   

In Marlborough, a cold, wet February led to the development of big bunches and berries.  Cloudy Bay reported that ‘uncharacteristically humid conditions and high disease pressure’, with a large crop on the vines, made crop-thinning especially important, but its Sauvignon Blanc grapes achieved ‘perfect maturity.’           

Yealands Estate, also based in Marlborough, reported ‘a bit of disease pressure in the Wairau Valley, which meant some fruit needed to come in before the acidities were in balance…’  However, the Awatere Valley ‘had a great season [with] good clean fruit and strong, classic flavour profiles.’  At Forrest Estate, the grapes were typically ‘clean, fresh and ripe, with abundant fruit florals,’ but ‘Pinot Noir was the most challenging variety.’

In Hawke’s Bay, the second largest region, 2022 was ‘difficult’ and ‘tricky’, according to many producers.  Stonecroft, in the Gimblett Gravels, was untroubled by frost in spring and ‘flowering was very good.’  However, the ‘weather was unsettled over the growing season, with a lot of rain events…”  According to Collaboration Wines, ‘we will generally see more elegant, restrained wines than is typical.’

In Auckland, Kumeu River reported an early harvest, completed in mid March, with ‘beautifully pristine’ Chardonnay fruit.  Soljans praised 2022 as ‘a great year for Auckland’.  Owhanake Bay Estate, on Waiheke Island, described its 2022 Syrah as ‘one out of the bag’ with ‘delicious, perfectly ripened fruit.’  

In Gisborne, GisVin, a large contract winery, reported ‘double to triple the rainfall in January, February and March’, triggering ‘a lot of rot.’  Paul Tietjen, of TW Wines, predicted ‘cooler, leaner’ white wines, and admitted that ‘reds were a struggle.’

In the Wairarapa, Martinborough-based Ata Rangi had ‘a difficult season, with crops reduced due to rain, insect and disease pressure…’  Palliser Estate noted ‘record rainfall in February.’  Borthwick Estate, at Gladstone, reported its white wines were ‘looking very good’, but ‘some of the later Pinot Noir was ripe but not concentrated.’  Urlar, also at Gladstone, noted ‘some shrivel, some botrytis.’   

In Nelson, where Seifried Estate harvested ‘modest crops’ during ‘ideal’ weather, ‘the flavours are good, acidity is bright.’  However, the Abel winery acknowledged ‘Pinot Noir was a challenge.’  

In North Canterbury, wineries reported early summer saw ‘warm weather and an uncharacteristic amount of rainfall,’ followed by ‘late summer disease pressure.’  The Boneline stated ‘cool weather in the new year slowed ripening,’ but a ‘dry autumn’ led to a ‘settled harvest.’       

In Central Otago, after a slightly warmer than average growing season, hopes are high for superb wines.  Grasshopper Rock, at Alexandra, reported ‘no weather pressure and perfectly clean and ripe Pinot Noir grapes.  Everyone is excited about the 2022 vintage.’

‘2022 has been great,’ declared Prophet’s Rock, in the Cromwell Basin.  ‘A warm, dry, late season with almost summer-like afternoons through until April…. You got to pick when you wanted to, not when you had to.’   Misha’s Vineyard enthused: ‘This was a dream season in terms of fruit quality.’