A recent cold snap has worried Hawkes Bay winegrowers but there has been no significant damage to crops so far and with warmer weather expected later in the week, there is unlikely to be any lasting effects.
"While there were some people who had some pretty sleepless nights, checking everything, generally, we came through unscathed - although we won't know that until the season starts in proper," said Hawke's Bay Wine Growers Association chairman Michael Henley. "With the wine industry as it stands at the moment, they are still very early frosts so a lot of bud burst hasn't really happened for us.”
"There was a bit of chardonnay that burst, and there was some frost-fighting being done but at the moment the effect of the cold snap on the wine industry is pretty minimal because the places where it got cold the vines would not have started to burst out yet.”
Frosts at this time of year are annoying but are generally harmless, although that won’t be the case over the next few months.
“That’s when you lose your shoots and you're broke. So at this stage, we probably have another three or four weeks. It's still looking pretty good, but we'll keep crossing our fingers."
There have been some chilly mornings in the Hawkes Bay, with Napier reaching 1.1°C and Havelock North -0.6. However, overnight cloud will keep temperatures stable, according to MetService.
"The minimum temperatures for Napier for the rest of the week are not especially cold,” explained meteorologist Claire Flynn. “This morning you are look at 4C, and 6C on Thursday and Friday. It's not looking like we will get any hard frosts this week. Clear skies and light winds are the main things [for frosty conditions] because basically the earth radiates heat away to space at night, so if you have cloud, it acts like a blanket and radiates heat back to earth and keeps it warmer."