Lower Waihopai Valley directly west of the township of Blenheim.
Soils: Clay based.
Topography: Even flat site with a very slight northerly aspect.
Climate: Warm daytime temperatures with cool nights.
Regional characteristics and contribution to uniqueness of flavours:
The clay based soil provides a vigour-moderating environment conducive to growing top quality Pinot Noir.
Sourced from a single vineyard near the Waihopai Valley using clone 115 with 15 per cent whole cluster added to the fermentation.
The fruit was harvested when it had reached full physiological ripeness and maximum flavour maturity. At the winery the fruit was held cold for five days prior to fermentation to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. Specially selected cultured yeast were used to carry out the primary alcoholic fermentation during which the fermenting must was hand plunged up to six times daily at the peak of fermentation. 15 per cent whole cluster bunches were also added to the fermentation to add a stems component and another layer of complexity. At dryness the wine was pressed, then racked off gross lees to a mixture of 33 per cent new French oak and older seasoned 225 litre oak barriques.
During maturation the barrels were regularly tasted until the right balance was achieved (eleven months). During this time in oak, the young wine completed malolactic fermentation. The wine was then carefully extracted from oak, blended and prepared for bottling.