Vintage 2024 Has Begun

by Heather Emond April 3, 2024

Over the last few weeks the Babich Wines harvest has kicked off in earnest, starting with our Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay and Marlborough Pinot Noir vineyards. Read on for an early insight into Vintage 2024...

Hawke’s Bay

On March 6th we were excited to hand-pick the first grapes for the 2024 edition of Irongate Chardonnay, one of our most sought-after wines. Thanks to an outstanding growing season, the fruit was incredibly clean with full bodied and ripe flavours that promise yet another outstanding release.

Since then, we’ve picked all our Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, some Malbec and some Merlot, with approximately 50% of our vineyard estates still to be harvested. The weeks ahead will see the first parcels of Syrah picked along with some stunning Gimblett Gravels Merlot.

Overall, it’s a slightly lighter crop than typical, which is having beneficial impacts on ripening and flavour development. The weather so far has been fantastic, and the forecast suggests this will continue, helping to deliver another fantastic vintage from one of the world’s great wine regions.


The period from June 2023 to February 2024 has been the driest in Marlborough since records began 94 years ago, with the second highest number of sunshine hours. Despite the intense drought conditions, our vineyards have fared well with very little disease pressure and excellent quality and flavour development, while the crop itself is ‘light and ripe’.

The positive result is thanks in large part to our investment in building water reservoirs in our vineyards. These reservoirs mean in normal conditions we can source almost 80% of our irrigation requirements from stored water rather than depleting local rivers and aquifers. We've also installed smart, web-connected irrigation controllers that help to deliver water more efficiently and effectively to the vines.

Harvesting in Marlborough started with hand-picking our premium, early ripening Pinot Noir vineyards, with the main harvest programme starting on 18th March. This involved harvesting the remaining Pinot Noir and organic grapes, before our teams turn to our Awatere Valley vineyard estates and then back to our Wairau Valley vineyards until the end of vintage.

Stay tuned for more updates, and an early thank you to our hard-working 2024 vintage crew!

For more information on our range of sustainably crafted New Zealand wines, please feel free to contact us via the website or on social media.

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