While the long, hot Hawke's Bay summer appears to be behind us, wine growers and drinkers alike are still reaping the benefits.

The warm weather coupled with moderate to cool nights lead to optimal ripening conditions, which had lead to a vintage to remember for Hawke's Bay's three signature varieties, chardonnay, syrah and cabernet sauvignon/merlot blends.

Hawke's Bay Winegrowers chairman Michael Henley said this year would go down in history as one of the best vintages in Hawke's Bay.

"The 2019 vintage will produce wines that will further establish Hawke's Bay as one of the great wine regions of the world, recognised in particular for its chardonnay, syrah and cabernet sauvignon/merlot blends.

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"These are very good times for our fantastic region."

For Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association chairman Gordon Russell, summing up the 2019 vintage was simple, and satisfying.

"It is going to be a legend," he said.

While the yields were down, the quality was up - with smaller fruit and good skins, which as well as protecting the fruit ensured good tannins and colour.

Russell said everything had fallen into place to create a vintage which would be "one out of the bag".

The first harvested merlots set the quality pace which continued through the cabernets and syrahs.

"All varieties are superb," he said, adding that wine lovers would likely get their first tastes of the 2019 vintage through pinot gris and rose as early as late May or early June.

Chief winemaker at Vidal Estate, Hugh Crighton, said it's a rarity to see all varieties stand out in a diverse wine growing region like Hawke's Bay.

"But this year is different.

"I've never seen such a strong group of wines in our cellars at Vidal Estate, and we're not the only producer with this sentiment."

Chief winemaker at Craggy Range, Julian Grounds, has just finished his first vintage in Hawke's Bay.

"I can only sum up this vintage in one word: sublime."

It has been a suburb year for Hawke's Bay vintage across the region's three signature varieties, Chardonnay, Syrah and the Cabernet family. Photo / File
It has been a suburb year for Hawke's Bay vintage across the region's three signature varieties, Chardonnay, Syrah and the Cabernet family. Photo / File

Meanwhile, Warren Gibson of Trinity Hill said he had not seen a vintage where chardonnay, syrah and the cabernet family all shine in one season.

While yields are down slightly, expect full flavour and tannin ripeness in reds, with moderate alcohol levels. Acid retention and exciting flavour spectrums in whites.