Vintage 2008 Marlborough

Another vintage has just flown by…and what a vintage! Not only were there good yields but also excellent quality in both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The only headache was that both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir ripened at the same time.

Sauvignon Blanc

This is another good Sauvignon Blanc vintage. It was a vintage where limiting yield really paid off. At Churton we control our yields through pruning to two canes only, and then shoot thinning to control bunch numbers. We hand picked Sauvignon from our vineyard on the Saturday of Easter weekend 22nd March and finished picking from our growers on Friday 11th April. The bulk of our Sauvignon was picked from Barrow’s vineyard on Friday 4th April (a flower day according to the Biodynamic calendar). Churton Sauvignon grapes this year has very good aromatic intensity and excellent sugar levels though lower acidity than last year this will give great drink-ability. We now hand-pick about 20% of our grapes; this gives us greater finesse and delicacy.

Pinot Noir

Very good fruit set and the ideal growing season meant that after five years we finally hit our target yield! This is a meagre 45hl/ha or in new world parlance barely 3t/acre. We had very even flowering followed by excellent bunch development that resulted in very even bunches with even berry sizes. Warm dry weather from the second week of January through until the second week of February ensured sufficient stress in the vineyard. This allows good tannin polymerisation and lignification. From veraison through to harvest the weather was mostly warm and dry with ideal ripening conditions. We had warmer nights than normal which has resulted in wines with lower acidity than on previous years.Picking started on 19th of March ( a biodynamic “fruit day”), this was three days later than last year. We finished picking Pinot on 27th March. All was in excellent condition with really great aromatics good depth and nice supple tannins.

Weather Conditions

2007/8 summer provided excellent growing conditions for vines. It was a warmer than average season, but also we had rainfall at crucial growth stages. The 2007 winter was cold and dry. We had bud break second week of September. Spring was remarkably benign; only five frosty nights though nothing severe enough to damage young shoots. Crucially November and December were warm and dry. This led to excellent flowering across both Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. We had rain just before Christmas and again early in the New Year. This gave the vines a much needed drink. The rain encourages good growth and cell development in the berry, leading to larger than normal berries. Veraison occurred in both Sauvignon and Pinot in the second week of February. We had a good run up to harvest with some rain in the first week of March but generally warm dry conditions. Picking started on a fruit day (according to the biodynamic calendar) 19th March and finished on 11th April; a short sharp vintage.


Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Churton Pinot Noir 2008 released on the Winter Solstice
(21st June) 2010.
Pinot noir 2008

Single block Churton pinot noir, The Abyss 2008






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