The 2010-2011 summer had near-record warm temperatures averaging at least 1.2°C above average for the Nelson region. More northwest winds than normal contributed to the warm temperatures and these provided a few deluges that kept both vineyard and winery staff on their toes. Fruit was monitored daily for optimum picking conditions and the winery was operating 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Processed with minimum crushing of the berries, the musts were held at 10°C for a short cold soak period with the aim of extracting fruit characters and colour from the skins. Fermentation was then carried out with Burgundian yeast strains, in our Ganimede tanks. These tanks are closed fermenters, which utilise trapped carbon dioxide to ‘wet the cap’ of the fermenting must; we have found this to be a very gentle way of extracting tannin from the skins. Once dry, the wine was pressed off its skins, and after a short settling time, racked off its gross yeast lees to undergo malolactic fermentation and oak maturation with a variety of different oaks for interest. The individual components were then blended, gently fined and filtered before bottling.