Long days picking and long nights frost-fighting.

That has been the way of it for vineyard owners and workers over the past few days.

Every frost-fighting method available was in action on Saturday night as temperatures in some parts of the Cromwell Basin, along Lake Dunstan, dropped to -3deg C or lower.

New Central Otago Winegrowers Association president Nick Paulin, of Lowburn, said yesterday conditions were "brutal''.


"Everyone's had some very big days and nights.''

However, picking in the Cromwell Basin should be finished by the end of this week and in the Gibbston, Alexandra and higher altitude areas by the end of next week.

Temperatures last night were expected to be a little warmer with some cloud cover and rain forecast for tomorrow.

Paulin said the harvest had been "really good'', a warm and relatively dry March providing an almost perfect end to the growing season.