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Early Martinborough Vintage Brings Exciting Wine

11 May 2006

Early Martinborough Vintage Brings Exciting Wine

Martinborough winemakers are expecting some exciting wines from the 2006 vintage, following what turned out to be an ideal combination of growing conditions and a much earlier harvest period. Fruit flavour and sugar ripeness levels are better than vintages of the last 21 years, says Wines From Martinborough Chairman, John Porter.

"It is going to be a very exciting vintage. We have enjoyed almost perfect weather conditions throughout summer, and especially in the crucial weeks leading up to harvest," says Mr Porter. "Summer brought prevailing warm and sunny days, latterly turning to almost drought
conditions."

Strong demand is expected for the region's most widely planted variety, Pinot Noir, which had a lower harvest than expected after cold snaps in spring.

Dry River Wines chief winemaker Neil McCallum says all vines benefited from a slow ripening resulting from moderate rainfalls in late March.

"Martinborough's 2006 vintage will be distinguished by a pleasing balance of colour, intensity and structure," he says. "Fruit was harvested with good overall balance, although earlier than previous harvests."

Martinborough produces just two percent of the country's vintage, however the region is renowned for its boutique wines of great concentration and individuality. Thirty medals were awarded to Martinborough wines in the recent Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

ENDS

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