Harvest 2016 was unusual in that it provided more than its fair share of challenges to test our nerve and skill as winegrowers. Spring rainfall was well below the norm - almost drought conditions, then a touch of hail, and then heavy rains. This resulted in a lot of pacing about vineyards and an intense obsession with weather forecasts!
However patience and perseverance has rewarded us with some intensely flavoursome wines, in particular the Albariño has shone this year. Notably 2016 was across the board a lower acidity season resulting in a slightly softer Albariño this year. Providing, maybe, an opportunity for the more cautious of tasters to try this vibrant variety.
Two parcels of Albariño come together to create this wine. One from our Hope vineyard on Main Road Hope and the other from our winery’s immediate neighbour, the Harrey’s. Both parcels were harvested in the second week of April. Once the fruit made the short jaunt to the winery it was quickly processed to the press. The press cycles carefully monitored and the hard pressings separated off.
Though geographically very close and on very similar soils the two parcels were uniquely characterful - perhaps due to clonal differences. To this end the juices were cold settled and racked to two tanks, for separate ferments. Two yeast strains were chosen - each for their ability to emphasize the gorgeous floral and breeziness of the variety and matched to the most compatible juice.
The ensuing ferments were monitored and arrested when just a dash of residual sugar best emphasized fruit characters but did not distract from the icy freshness of this wine. The two resulting wines complimented each beautifully and were blended and prepared for bottling on the 29th of September.