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 team put in a stoic effort to pull in our grapes in excellent condition and in record time.
Our Pinot Rosé is made from clone 6 and Mariafeld Pinot Noir. The Mariafeld lends itself perfectly to what we are looking for in our Rosé. The large juicy berries have very perfumed plummy, strawberry flavours and relatively low tannins compared to other clones. The fruit was harvested on the 30th March, early morning, arriving at the winery icy cold. It was then processed with minimal crushing to tubs for soaking on the skins to extract flavour and colour. A busy 48hrs later 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 Rosé winemaking. For a creamy component, a small percentage of the final blend underwent barrel fermentation in well seasoned barrels. Come mid-May the tank and barrel components were re-combined and the wine heat and cold stabilized to ready for bottling in August.