Spring/Summer 2002 Update

18 December 2002

Christmas Greetings

Christmas is almost here and all here at Two Paddocks are breathless with excitement. This in part because we have been working like dogs, but also because the proprietor has generously promised us all sunhats for the Yuletide. This will be the newest addition to the world's most glamorous clothing line. Well, maybe after Prada.

So much to report!

At Redbank we have planted an additional 2 hectares of grapes this spring. This is mostly Pinot Noir, on a beautiful sloping hill below the redbank itself. We have planted here about 3,000 each of the following Burgundian clones: 115, 667, and 777. We have also, for old times sake, put in 2,000 vines of our old perennial staple friend, 10/5. We have, as well, completed the Riesling block on root stock, which brings the total planting at Redbank to approximately 6 hectares. This is by any standard a small vineyard, but to us it seems as big as General Motors.

Also at Redbank, we have built a beautiful, nay palatial, staff room and, in order to enhance our greener than green credentials, a fully compostable lavatory.

Over at Gibbston we continue with our yearly re-plant program, anxious as we are about the inevitable arrival of phylloxera. This year we replaced 10 rows with 777 on two different root stocks. It's sad every year to see some of our older vines go, but it's onward and upward, etc. etc.

Over at Alex Paddocks it has been a stop-start Spring as elsewhere. This meant a bit of a frost tickle up at the very bottom of the vineyard where we might have lost maybe 20% of our fruit. We're always fairly relaxed about this. We already have a very low yield anyway and, as we all know, low yield is critical for high quality.

Meanwhile, over at the winery, Dean is more than usually upbeat about the 2002 Pinots in the barrel. This year will mean the first single vineyard Pinots from Two Paddocks. From Alex, Two Paddocks The Last Chance Pinot Noir and from Gibbston, Two Paddocks The First Paddock Pinot Noir. These will be our two premium Pinots for 2002. We are also going to be producing and releasing early, a more everyday (but still superb and easy-drinking) lower-priced Pinot -- Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir. There will only be a small amount of this available, 100 cases or so, every year. You will probably need to come to Central Otago to find it. A pleasure in itself.

Dean is fulsome in his praise of The Last Chance Pinot, and, as always, is quietly confident about the Gibbston wine.

Coming up: For the 2003 vintage, expect our first Pinot from Redbank and our first Riesling, as well -- try to contain your excitement.

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