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!
Four of our Estate vineyards are represented in this wine, all are on the stony Waimea Plains. Parcels of different clones of fruit are harvested and processed with minimum crushing of the berries. The musts were then held at 10°C for a cold soak period of 5-10 days with the aim of extracting fruit characters and colour from the skins.
The separate parcels are then fermented, yeast strains chosen to enhance specific clonal characters. During vigorous ferment the vats were pumped over twice a day to aid in extraction from the skins and aerate the ferment.
Once dry the wines they spent time soaking on the skins and were tasted daily to ascertain when the tannin structure was adequate. Once pressed off their skins, the wines had a short settling time before being racked off gross yeast lees and put to a barrel to undergo malolactic fermentation and oak maturation. A selection of French Coopers were chosen to help build the perfume, flavours and texture of this wine while still respecting the delicate character of our Pinot off the Plains.
After ten months in barrel the wines and individual barrels were assessed and our best blend assembled. The wine was then carefully prepared with a minimum of intervention for bottling.