This season's chardonnay crop will be down on volume, but not quality, in the wake of last week's brief but severe hail storm with cut a path across the Bridge Pa vineyards' landscape.

Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Association deputy chairman Pete Hurlstone said he was not yet fully aware of the big picture but from what he had seen some vineyards were more seriously affected than others during the hailstorm's passing.

"But it's certainly not a catastrophe," he said, adding that events like the hailstorm was part of the challenges faced by those in the viticultural and horticultural field.

Hurlstone said if there was one positive to the event it was the timing, as while it was a significant hailstorm and there was damage happened reasonably early in the season which would enable viticulturists to try and get things back on track.


"It's unfortunate but we've got a resilient and skilled band of growers out there."

The storm only impacted on the early chardonnay growth across parts of the Bridge Pa region, with other major growing areas escaping the hail as its path was not a broad one.

"It will impact the quantity (of chardonnay produced) but not the quality."

He said he was confident they could still get some of the hail-hit vines to produce, and the current low moisture levels in the ground and the prospect of increasingly warm weather would assist with that.

It would be a case of time would tell, and that was echoed by grape grower Xan Harding who said they would get a better picture of what had happened after the flowering season of November and December.

He said from what he had come across chardonnay vines in some areas had taken "a pounding".

Harding was also positive about the recovery process of some initially damaged vines as the weather warmed.

"They like to grow — we'll get some bounce-back."


While other grape varieties were emerging at this stage of the season they were much less affected.