The 2010 growing season was cool to start, this natural fruit thinning keeping yields down. Anticyclones hovering over the southern Tasman Sea and central New Zealand brought settled sunny weather with warmer and drier conditions than normal for March and April. This weather, combined with lower yields, meant that gorgeous fruit - free from disease and with intense beautifully ripe flavours was delivered to the winery.
No weather pressure meant our vineyard blocks were harvested at our leisure and the mood about the winery was very buoyant!
The grapes for the Waimea 2010 Viognier came from the stony alluvial soils of our Annabrook vineyard. They were hand harvested at a Brix of 24°.
The grapes were gently whole bunch pressed and an ear ly press cut made. The pressings were treatedseparately then barrel fermented. The free run and light pressings was settled, clean-racked (low grape solids) to tank and inoculated with a neutral yeast – to encourage the natural expression of the primary fruit flavours of the grapes. This tank ferment was kept cool to maintain fresh fruit aromatics, while the barrel ferments were warmer, creating funkier, ferment derived nuances. After five weeks of primary fermentation, the wines were lees-stirred weekly for an extended period to help develop palate weight. At the end of the year both the tank and barrel components were racked off gross lees and blended together, and gently filtered prior to bottling in October 2010.