The first grapes harvested for the 2017 vintage has happened today - on Valentines Day in Gisborne - with a bit of a romantic twinge.

Wrights Vineyard and Winery owners Geoff and Nicola Wright picked grapes for their verjuice today, sold to restaurants around New Zealand.

Nicola, a lawyer, came to Gisborne to find Mr Right, who she hoped would be a wine maker, about 15 years ago.

Now married and with half a football team of boys to help, there is still love in the air at the Manutuke vineyard and winery.


With no roses nearby, Geoff presented Nicola with a sunflower as the harvest began this morning.

"It's quite romantic harvesting grapes on valentines day but also hard work," he said.

Metservice have compared this year's summer to 1998, which produced some stunning wines from this region, said Geoff.

"At present our grapes are one and a half weeks ahead this year. Touch wood the season carries on being a stunner for the Gisborne wine region."

He has just returned from a sales trip around New Zealand.

"Our organic wines are in huge demand all around the country. Our Chinese market is expanding and have now set up a merchant team in China promoting our wines and plan to utilise Alibaba online platform this year.

"In years to come our grapes from Gisborne Vintage 2017 will be in high demand. We are excited to be part of this journey for the Gisborne wine region."

- Gisborne Herald