The growing season, summer 2011-2012 was very cloudy for Nelson, with many records broken. It was the wettest summer on record, and an almighty rain event in December combined with cool temperatures made for a worrying time going into harvest. Would we get enough warm weather in Autumn that we needed to fully ripen our grapes? To our great relief April was characterized by frequent highs resulting in very dry
and sunny conditions. April sunshine hours being thehighest on record for our region and fantastic afternoon maximum temperatures meant full ripeness was at last achieved.
Parcels of grapes for this wine were harvested in the second and last week of April. Three separate parcels were chosen for their different characters, all coming off the stony alluvial soils of the Waimea Plains. Brix of the parcels was 23-24.
Each parcel of fruit for this wine was harvested very early in the morning and gently pressed while still icy cold, to preserve aromatics and minimise phenolic pick up. After cold settling for three days, each juice was racked off solids and the clear juice was fermented with a selection of yeasts chosen for their ability to enhance body, texture and varietal aromas in the finished wine. Moderately cool fermentations (13-15°) in stainless steel tanks has preserved freshness and fruit expression, contributing to the elegance of this wine.
The fermentations were stopped with some residual sugar remaining, to balance the mineral and fine phenolic structure of this Pinot Gris. Batonnage (or lees stirring) was carried out for several months to further enhance texture and depth on the palate. The individual portions were then assessed and blended in August. The wine remained on fine lees until early 2013 when the wine was stabilised, cross flow filtered and bottled in early Feb 2013.