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! But our patience and perseverance was rewarded with some intensely flavoursome wines.
Three vineyards feature in this wine, all planted on the stony plains but all offering their own nuances. The three parcels of fruit were picked on the 7th, 8th and 14th April.
All picked early on the days harvest schedule –the fruit was still beautifully cool when it arrived at the winery for processing. The parcels were quickly processed and early press cuts were taken so to have the crispest portion of these juices. Hard pressings were separated off to their own tank. However once the pressings were cold settled they were so flavoursome that they were returned to the mother juice!
Each of the three juices were racked to their own tanks for ferment. Two were inoculated with an Austrian yeast strain chosen for its ability to enhance varietal characters, in particular the peppery-spicy note typical of Grüner Veltliner. The third juice was inoculated with yeast chosen for the fruit focus it offers. Each of the ferments were arrested just shy of dry when the wine seemed to fall into balance and looked pleasingly savoury. One of the wines then spent a short time on fine lees to add another layer of interest and texture to the final wine.
The three components were then blended in the last week of July and prepared for bottling in the first week of September.