Our home is a place like no other. It reflects our innovative and pioneering spirit, our unique climate and our commitment to quality & sustainable wine production. The soil, the climate, the crystal waters and coastal breezes, create wines that are pure, intense and bursting with flavour.
Our viticulturists and winemakers monitor climate data closely; it is one of the most significant factors in determining a grape’s natural qualities providing the basis from which winemaking can begin.
"The dew point is an important consideration when trying to anticipate the severity of any frost event."
Dew Point is the temperature at which the moisture in the air begins to condense. The temperature falls faster in dry air than moist air. At the dew point, the temperature tends to rise slightly, as water condenses from the air, giving up heat to whatever it condenses on.
The lower the humidity, the more quickly the land will radiate its heat and the faster the temperature will drop. This is particularly important for some of our inland vineyards, where decisions need to be made to call out staff to the vineyard in the middle of the night to come implement frost prevention measures such as firing up the frost fans.
A significant amount of vineyard effort is directed at minimising any impact of adverse weather events. Fortunately, Marlborough has very low summer rainfall by New Zealand standards. In recent years, the region has experienced extremely dry conditions. The vines are irrigated from the nearby Awatere River and water is also stored in dams, should the river flow drop too low.
While grapevines enjoy dry conditions, they still need moisture in the soil to grow. Marlborough’s annual rainfall is approximately 650mm, although it is slightly less on the coast at Seaview. Winter and spring rainfall is important to replenish the soils and the rivers, aquifers and dams, but rain during the growing season can damage the crops if it is excessive and falls at the wrong time.
"The most critical time is the period leading up to harvest, when the grape sugars are very high and the berry skin is at its weakest. Rain during this period can cause berries to split and fungal disease (rot) to spread."
We harness the sun’s rays to power our winery. The north-facing side of our winery roof is home to over 1,300 solar panels. Visit yealandsenergy.co.nz to find out how the sun powers our world.
The solar array on our winery roof provides 30% of the power needed to run our winery. It produces more than half a million kW hours per year - enough to power 86 average New Zealand households!
"I've always been passionate about renewable energy and also about self-reliance. We have been carbon neutral since inception but that doesn't mean we can just sit back. Our solar panels help reduce our carbon footprint year on year."
"In springtime, many vineyards monitor temperatures for potentially damaging frosts, however, the Seaview Vineyard is less prone to frost than most."
Flowering is one of the critical periods that has a large influence on the number and size of the berries on each bunch. Temperatures of less than 18°C can have an adverse effect on flowering, while temperatures in the mid to high 20s are optimum for our vines.
Temperature directly affects the vine's growth cycle, from flowering to ripening. Vine growth commences in spring once average daily temperatures rise above 10°C. Our proximity to the moderating influence of the sea and the general air movement created by the undulating nature of the terrain in the Awatere Valley helps keep frosts away. This air movement mixes warmer air with cold air and prevents the cold air from settling close to the ground.
We also put wind to good use with two traditional wind turbines and a horizontal axis wind turbine to generate extra power for use in the winery. These turbines generate approximately 48,000 kWh of energy.
Being so close to the coast means our vineyard experiences strong ocean breezes that help prevent frosts, ensuring we have less need for frost intervention. The sea breeze also reduces fungal disease pressure, because of the drying effect after rainfall.
"It's not just the sun that has more than one job on Seaview Vineyard. As well as keeping the frosts at bay, the wind is used to provide some extra energy."