Counterintuitively, the 2017 vintage was relatively cool, even though globally, 2017 was one of the hottest years on record. This is because Spring 2016 was quite cool, delaying the growth in the vineyard and pushing the grape ripening later, into the cooler months of Autumn. Importantly, night temperatures drop significantly in Autumn, helping to maintain good levels of natural acidity.
In the vineyard
The vineyard is planted on the eastern slopes of a hill between Gumeracha and Lobethal. This elevated location is ideal as it’s warm enough for excellent ripening and flavour development, yet protected from the hot afternoon sun. The grapes were hand-picked early in the morning when the temperatures were low and then whole bunch pressed about half an hour later. Fortunately, the rain held off just enough, as it poured later that afternoon.
In the winery
The winemaking was very simple – cold settled the juice for 4 days, without any enzyme or sulphur dioxide, then fermented in neutral oak barrels using only indigenous yeasts. Fermentation was very slow and steady, taking just over two months. The wine was then left on lees for a further 3 months to develop a creamy texture which helps integrate the natural acidity. The wine was then racked several times and bottled without fining or filtration. 166 dozen produced.
Serve chilled, this wine can be enjoyed with or without food. I like it with antipasto platters, or even just hommus and crackers.