Harvest 2015 was notable across the country for a smaller crop than previous seasons. Just as the growing season got off to a slow start so did the start of harvest. The upshot of the above conditions, and hence the smaller crop, being that we were rewarded with intensely flavoursome fruit.
The fruit for our Classic Riesling 2015 was harvested on the 6th of April from our Hunter and Annabrook vineyards, both on the stony Waimea Plains. The Riesling was first up in the morning and arrived at the winery very early and very cold.
Once at the winery the parcels of grapes were processed to the press and the cycles carefully watched to separate out the free run and light pressings from the heavier more phenolic 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 hoped to maintain the fresh aromatics typical to Riesling but also create a delicate phenolic structure to the wine. The hard press component was treated separately but then returned to the bulk of the juice as it was intensely flavoursome.
The clarified juices were racked to their ferment tanks and inoculated with a German yeast strain chosen for its ability to enhance and maintain the purity of fruit characters in Riesling. The ensuing cool ferments were arrested when a moreish level of sugar still remained but was well balanced by the acidity. The wines then spent a short time on fine lees before blending and finishing for bottling.