When to pick?

When to pick is a winemaking decision at Barker’s Marque.

Bigger companies would pick the whole of Muritai, our vineyard, in one day. We pick on 4 or 5 days and 15+ parcels. Because we are trying to do something different – produce different wines from a single vineyard.

In the bigger companies, viticulturists may have more say than the winemakers because there is so much wine to pick and logistics matter much more. In our case, winemaker Simon decides when to pick based on science and flavour.  Because Simon lives on the vineyard, the grapes get tasted every day.

Typically we pick Three Brooms up to 2 weeks later than ranga.ranga, but sometimes the gap shrinks because ranga bears a heavier crop than Three Brooms, and in some years it can take longer to ripen.

Finally, The Awatere is cooler and windier and matures more slowly than the warmer and much bigger Wairau. Down by the coast we pick maybe 10 days later, for similar ripeness, than the heart of the Wairau. Longer hang times help those aromatics Sauvignon Blanc is famous for.