Tetley Brook Estate was formed in 2005 when the first 118 hectare block was converted from sheep and beef farming into viticulture. After developing additional vineyard area on the home block a neighbouring vineyard was also purchased; the Tetley Brook Estate vineyard area now consists of 166 hectares.
Tetley Brook Estate employs five staff including Shavin Chandra, the vineyard manager, and grows grapes under contract to Indevin, Matua and Accolade Wines.
We spoke with John and Maria Ryan. John tells us there’s sixteen frost fans covering the two blocks.
John said their first lesson in frost protection was when one block got ‘tickled up’ a few years ago and frosted once before they installed the fans. That was the 2011-12 season when two thirds of one block was frosted and they lost around 60 tonnes all up. That prompted them to put in four FrostBoss™ C49 fans. Since then, John and Shavin have seen an increase in yield of more than 20% in the areas protected by the frost fans.
Tetley Brook Estate has had more than its fair share of challenges with the 2013 Seddon earthquake and the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. Fortunately, the vineyards were undamaged and whilst it’s had an impact on the lives and daily routines of the Ryan family and their staff, they’ve not let it stop them.
In 2016, two more FrostBoss® machines were purchased, one for a new development and the other for the leading edge of their Pinot Gris block.
They have three different brands of frost fan across their two vineyards but John and Shavin favour the FrostBoss® machines.
“They’ve been outstanding with the area they cover, ease of access to the motor and large 500 litre capacity fuel tanks. We also had New Zealand Frost Fans upgrade the old alloy blades on our current machines with the FrostBoss™ C39 composite blades (3 blade system) and these have proven to be quieter and more efficient.”
John values the relationships Tetley Brook Estate are involved with in the viticulture industry like New Zealand Frost Fans – “we also use JTC Viticulture in Blenheim for contract harvesting and fertiliser spreading” – and takes pride in the positive relationships highlighting Tetley Brook Estate grapes are supplied to Indevin, Matua and Accolade Wines.
“We’ve been hitting our tonnage caps and this season is looking like we’ll get good yields. We’ll be harvesting in April so we’ll let you know.”