The Winemaking

A great wine might start in the vineyard, but it’s what happens at the winery that determines the final outcome.

Riesling

We aim for a fruit driven Riesling, so we have a cool ferment which is usually stopped before completion to leave a small amount of residual sugar.  This offsets the fantastic acidity that can be achieved in our cool climate.  To add texture to the wine and depth of flavour we leave the wine on yeast lees for four months before bottling.  Our Rieslings are generally aged in bottle for about six months before release and they’ll continue to improve over four to five years. 

Sauvignon Blanc

We make two different styles of Sauvignon Blanc.  The first is in the traditional New Zealand style, where fruit is cool fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fruit characteristics. 

The other style of Sauvignon Blanc is released under our Catherine’s Block label and is from barrique fermented wines.  The wine is fermented in old French oak barriques and left on lees which were stirred regularly to build the texture. 

Pinot Gris

Our Pinot Gris is usually harvested over a period of several weeks to enable us to produce different parcels of wine with varying flavours and sugar levels.  We continue to keep these parcels of wine separate until blending in the following spring. As with our other whites, fermentation was in stainless steel with cooling control for a fruit driven style.  Some parcels of wine are fermented to dryness, with others fermentation was stopped early to leave some residual sugar.  The wine spent four months on yeast lees before various parcels were choose to produce the final blends which go into different labels.

Pinot Noir

We use old fashioned Burgundian techniques to craft our Pinot Noir and often include a portion of wild ferment.  Firstly, fruit is cold soaked in open top fermenters.  The must is  hand plunged through-out  fermentation. Post-ferment the wine remains on skins for up to 10 days before being pressed directly to French oak barriques (we usually use about 30% new). Malolactic fermentation is encouraged.  We generally oak age for 12 months  and bottle age for a further 12 months. 

Tempranillo

Tempranillo is the wine that makes up most of Rioja from Spain.  We’ve used traditional wine making techniques to produce a Tempranillo unique New Zealand style. We ferment the grapes to dryness, followed by post fermentation maceration until desired tannin extraction is achieved.  The wine is then aged in French oak barriques until malolactic fermentation and the oak tannin integration is complete. We bottle age for a further six months until release.