Harvest 2014 was notable for the excellent quality of fruit produced thanks to a season that was warm and dry for Nelson. Excellent concentration of flavours and ripeness levels were reached several weeks earlier than expected, resulting in an early start to harvesting in the second week of March.
Fortuitously this meant that when more than 200mm of rain hit the upper South Island mid-April our fruit was now juice, happily fermenting in the winery.
On the 7th of April we brought in our first parcel of Grüner Veltliner for this wine from our smallest and most narrow vineyard planted on part of the Richmond Railway Reserve. On the 13th of April we brought in the second parcel of fruit for this wine from our Annabrook vineyard immediately adjacent to the winery. In both cases the fruit was harvested very early in the morning so that the fruit was cool when it arrived at the winery for processing.
Early press cuts were taken so to only have the crispest portion of this juice and the hard pressings separated. However once these separate portions were cold settled the pressings were so flavoursome that they were returned to the mother juice!
The clarified juices were inoculated for ferment with an Austrian yeast strain chosen for its ability to enhance varietal characters, in particular the peppery-spicy note typical of Grüner Veltliner. Ferment temperatures were kept cool to help preserve aromatics. The ferments were stopped just shy of dry when the wine seemed to fall into balance and looked pleasingly savoury. The wine then spent a short time on fine lees before being readied for bottling on the 1st August.