We've made the Nelson Mail

In today's edition, well-respected wine writer Neil Hodgson takes a look at vintage '22 and our new releases:

Ursula Schwarzenbach standing in front of a wall of Blackenbrook wine cartons.

"Last week, Ursula Schwarzenbach from Blackenbrook Vineyards dropped in some samples from the 2022 vintage for me to try.

She told me that despite the weather challenges, she and her husband Daniel are really happy with the wines they made this year.

“It started off like a dream: a warm spring, mild conditions for flowering and a strong fruit set, lots of blue skies and just enough rainfall to keep the vineyard happy and working at its best,” said Daniel.

“But 70mm of rain followed by two weeks of warm, humid weather in February had us deeply worried about our crop. The weather recovered, but the grapes were now very fragile and wouldn’t survive another big rain event.

“And where would we find pickers? Covid 19 was raging and the borders closed. But the community support was absolutely amazing with lots of people offering their help. We ended up bringing in a beautiful harvest with the best picking team ever – such a relief!”

Ursula told me they had put a huge effort into vineyard management to ensure the significant rain events didn’t ruin their crop.

A bottle of Blackenbrook Rose and Sauvignon Blanc displayed on the local beach

“Daniel and the vineyard team, including Thomas and Isabelle, our children, worked hard on leaf plucking and shoot thinning to keep the vine canopy open, so the grapes below the canopy were exposed to gentle winds and lots of sun to dry them out after the rain and avoid disease pressure.”

The wines Ursula dropped in for me to taste and review are clear proof that the Blackenbrook Vineyard location on a gentle sloping hillside at Tasman along with their hard work has resulted in some delicious wines, wines you should hunt out."

Read Neil Hodgson's article here