First grapes picked for 2017 harvest

Geoff and Nicola Wright, owners of Wrights Vineyards and Winery, and their five boys (Photo: Wrights Vineyard & Winery)

Geoff Wright, owner/winemaker of Gisborne natural wine producer, Wrights Vineyard & Winery (tastings) chose Valentine’s Day to harvest what he believes are the first grapes to be picked this year. Geoff took his sons out of school to give help him harvest seven tonnes of chardonnay on 14th February. The grapes are expected to make around 6,000 bottles of verjuice.

“To date, things are looking fantastic for the East Coast. We are lucky to of had a good run with vintages this decade with 2013, 2014 and 2015 all being great ones. Maybe Gisborne will be put on the wine map again through climate change and stunning chardonnays.

Our verjuice is made from chardonnay. I normally harvest it on Valentine’s Day and take the kids out of school for the day. Quite a bit of excitement on harvest day.

Our five boys love it. With tractor rides, hand picking and chewing the breeze with our workers. Plus missing a day off school all helps.

Normally harvested around 12 to 14 brix. Great refreshing beverage used in cooking for salads or sauces. As a cocktail with soda water is my favourite.

Our boys named our cat after the verjuice as they love it. Chardonnay is his name.”

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