Rockburn's Winemaker, Malcolm Rees-Francis gives us a brief overview of Rockburn's 2023 vintage in Central Otago. A year to remember and wines that will age gracefully.

"The summer of 2022 / 2023 barely existed for most of New Zealand; because Central Otago was hogging it all.


A late spring was negated by a hot and dry summer, and while that would usually herald an early vintage, the vines had different ideas. So picking began in earnest on our Parkburn site on the very normal date of 21st March and was taken in very swiftly.


Sugars were lower than average, but aromatics and flavours were exceptional, and I thought I was being very clever indeed. And then the frosts came along, and the rain started, and we had some very disappointing and atypical weather for several weeks.


The vines gave up on gathering any further sugars, but at least retained those fantastic flavours, and we picked carefully around the weather events to bring in some very fine fruit.


So rather than the bold and ripe vintage we were anticipating, we instead experienced a season better defined by finesse and bright aromatics, beautiful florals and very elegant wines.


As these wines age I think we will look back upon 2023 very fondly."
Malcolm Rees-Francis
Rockburn Winemaker