Few clues to the ultimate success of the 2010 vintage were revealed early in the season.  October was a typically windy and wet month.  In November the weather pattern took a strange turn. It was considerably drier than normal but much of the month was consumed with grey, cold, windy, and drizzly days.  This delayed flowering by almost two weeks and contributed to an uneven fruit set in many of the blocks.  December began with a continuation of the same bleak weather conditions but with little precipitation.

The middle of December brought the first real signs of summer and restored hope for a decent vintage. The pattern of settled, dry and warm weather established in late December extended into January. February and March were atypically hot and dry months with only trace amounts of rain. April showed the classic pattern of warm dry days and cooler nights that allowed our cabernet to eek out that last bit of varietal aroma and flavor before harvest.

The warm and dry weather of this amazing season, combined with the poor fruit set caused by the unusual weather in November and December, meant that the demands for fruit thinning were minimal. In addition, disease pressure was uncharacteristically low.  These two factors, more than anything else, contributed to the creation of small, concentrated berries in virtually disease free bunches that simply had to be clipped from the vine and dropped gently into the small picking bins.

The condition and quality of the 2010 fruit was as good as anyone could recall on Waiheke Island. As one vintner stated, it was “a collector’s year”.  At Destiny Bay, early barrel tasting of our wines confirmed our first impression that this was indeed an extraordinary season.

It therefore was not surprising to us when Bob Campbell tasted the finished blends in barrel during April of 2011 and pronounced them “a once in a lifetime vintage”.

We are still pretty young at Destiny Bay so we can only hope that Mother Nature will bless us once again as she did in 2010.

Sean Spratt
Owner & Winemaker