Hawke's Bay wine growers are eagerly awaiting an early harvest, with hot and humid conditions proving the best for the fledgling grapes.
Hawke's Bay Winegrowers vice-chairman Xan Harding said "it's been a season of to-ing and fro-ing of whether the season is going to be earlier or later".
"We like heat so these 30C days are certainly bringing a lot of rays on, which is what we call the change in the phase of the grapes. So we are certainly seeing, with those hot days over the weekend [and] now these extra hot days that things are looking very good for us.
"It started off looking early and then we had cooler overcast weather and things came into line but it's all speeding up again now. So if we end up with a slightly earlier harvest, maybe a week or 10 days earlier, then that suits us just fine."
Mr Harding said they were looking a week to 10 days early, and are hoping to have a little less rain at harvest than last year.
"There will be some early blocks that have been selected for the low-alcohol styles which will start to get picked by mid February, towards the end of February, and at the beginning of March the harvest will kick off."
He noted that the main effect of the humid weather had been bringing on the ripening of the grapes.
"We hope that this carries on until the middle of April. It can be a little bit cooler but we don't want to see too much rain between now and the middle of April."
Similarly, Clearview Estate Winery co-founder and original winemaker Tim Turvey said they were about 70 growing degree days up on last year, particularly with the temperatures felt this week.
"It certainly feels exciting. We are running very similar to last year, maybe a week ahead of last year but nothing huge."
Wine growers expect to start harvesting between March 10 and 15.
"We are a little bit different on the coast because we get the onshore breeze which is blowing very beautifully at the moment, so we haven't had that humidity that they have inland."