Summer 2012-2013 was characterized by much higher pressures than normal over the Tasman Sea. Frequent highs produced very sunny weather and the resulting growing season was uncharacteristically dry for most of the country including Nelson. By the beginning of March the Waimea Plains were experiencing a significant water deficit. However mid to late autumn saw a number of low pressure systems and rain-bearing fronts unsettling our nerves and threatening to spoil our beautiful crop. So harvest plans were thrown into top gear and Waimea’s vineyard and winery teams put in a stoic effort to pull in our grapes in excellent condition, and in record time!
Five separate parcels of Pinot Gris were chosen for this wine from our Estate vineyards. Each parcel was harvested early morning and gently pressed while still icy cold to preserve aromatics and minimise phenolic pick up. Early press cuts were made and pressing fractions treated separately. After cold settling for three days, each juice was racked off solids and the flavoursome pressing portions returned back to their original juice. A selection of yeast was chosen for their ability to enhance body, texture and varietal aromas in the finished wine. Moderately cool fermentations in stainless steel tanks were employed to preserve freshness and fruit expression. Each ferment was stopped with varying degrees of residual sugar. Each wine carefully assessed to determine this leveland its overall balance in the wine. The wines were then aged on lees for several months to further enhance texture and richness on the palate. The most harmonious blend of these components was then debated and decided upon and the wine blended and prepared for bottling late October.