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! The grapes for the Waimea 2013 Viognier came from the stony alluvial soils of our Annabrook vineyard. They were hand harvested at around 22 Brix.
The grapes were gently whole bunch pressed and an early press cut made. The free run and pressings juices were treated separately, cold-settled then racked together for ferment. The juice was inoculated with a Rhone yeast selected to express the natural primary fruit characters typical of the variety. This 100% stainless steel ferment was kept cool to retain freshness and aromatics. The ferment was stopped when we felt that the fruit sweetness, acidity and phenolics were in perfect harmony. The wine was matured on light lees to further enhance palate weight and texture. Stabilisation and gentle cross-flow filtering of our Viognier followed before it was bottled on the 23rd September 2013.