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 North Island mid-April our fruit was now juice, happily fermenting in the winery.
The second crop taken from our Sauvignon Gris planting, the fruit for this wine was harvested from our Hope vineyard on the 1st of April with generous sugar levels. Scheduled to be first at the winery that day, it arrived very early morning, nice and cold.
The fruit was then processed gently and quickly to the press. The press cycle was carefully monitored, the free run and lightly pressed juice separated from the heavier more phenolic hard pressings. The press cut was made when the extraction of flavour was good and just light dusty phenolics were beginning to show in the juice. We wanted to draw out as much flavour as possible from this subtle yet rich variety and as such fined the hard pressings but then returned it to the main juice once clarified and racked.
A yeast strain was chosen that we have enjoyed in the past on other varieties for its ability to add real lusciousness to the wine but also good aromatics. The ensuing ferment was monitored and arrested when the acid and sugar best emphasized the fruit characters in this wine. The wine then spent a short period of time on fine lees to build another layer of interest into the wine before being readied for bottling the last week of July.