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 the highest on record for our region and fantastic afternoon maximum temperatures meant full ripeness was at last achieved!
Our Pinot Rosé is made from the Mariafeld clone of Pinot Noir. While monitoring the Pinot blocks the characters in the Mariafeld seemed to lend themselves perfectly to what we were looking for in our Rosé. The large juicy berries had very perfumed plummy, strawberry flavours and
relatively low tannins compared to other clones. The Mariafeld was machine harvested at 22 brix. It was early morning and the fruit arrived at the winery icy cold.
It was then processed with minimal crushing to tubs for soaking up of colour and flavour. Once we were happy with the extraction the juice was pressed off skins and sent to tank for settling. Once clarified it was racked off juice lees and inoculated with yeast chosen especially for
For a creamy component, a small percentage of the final blend underwent barrel fermentation. Come mid-May the tank and barrel components were blended and the wine was heat and cold stabilized to ready for bottling in August. The phenolics derived from the Mariafeld were very fine and gently laced through the wine giving some nice structure and required no fining.