Wed 07 Oct 2015

What Happens At A Winery In Winter? News From Dog Point

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Dog Point's vineyards in Marlborough

Dog Point’s vineyards in Marlborough

Last week I was delighted to meet up with Dog Point’s Matt Sutherland (son of founder Ivan and now fully involved in the business) and winemaker Murray Cook. They were in the UK to show the UK trade their new vintage of 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, which looked exceptional and will be on sale in January.

We discussed the seasonal nature of winemaking and the difficulty in finding time to travel the world actually selling the wine that they make. However, they agreed that now is the right time – winter is coming to an end in New Zealand and although there is much to be done – as discussed below in their newsletter – this is the time to travel, giving them time to dash back ready for spring.

It also happens, coincidentally I am assured, to have worked out quite nicely for the guys to catch one or two games of the Rugby World cup too…!

Sarah Knowles MW
Society Buyer

Dog PointWinter news from Dog Point (taken from their recent newsletter):

While winter may seem like a quiet time of the year there is, in fact, plenty that happens in the vineyard as we prepare for the growing season ahead. During July the vines are pruned and crops, such as tic beans and oats, planted between the vines to add organic matter to the soil. Vine prunings are mulched and mixed into Dog Point’s compost heap which is then mixed again and turned many times (up to six in total) to create a healthy organic compost. We use this compost in the vineyard and around the property throughout the year.

During winter sheep are moved around the property in order to keep grass and weeds down, and to add organic matter to the soil. Towards Spring the sheep are shorn of their woolly coats in the Dog Point woolshed, then drafted and weighed as some of the older lambs are sent away.

2015 has been a winter of records. We’ve experienced an extremely dry winter, yet it’s been a very cold winter with a large number of consecutive ground frosts. This assists in keeping good vine health and pests at bay.

Winter is also a busy time in the winery. In August the Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015 was bottled and we look forward to releasing this wine into markets from October 2015 onwards.

Around the same time the 2014 Pinot finished a period of 18 months secondary fermentation in French oak barrels and was transferred to tank for blending. The Pinot will be bottled in October and released in February 2016 onwards. This process has kept Murray busy in the winery doing one of the less glamorous jobs in the winery; cleaning barrels!

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