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Pinot Gris 100%
Vineyards are located in the cool-climate Whitlands high plateau region of Victoria, at 750 metres altitude. The site is a small amphitheatre and is slightly warmer than most in this very cool region. The continental climate gives cool evenings, which allow the vines to rest at night, delaying ripening whilst maintaining acidity and building flavour. The deep, open structure of the volcanic soils soil draw the roots downward, so they don’t need to irrigate.
Some biodynamic practices are used, not for dogmatic reasons, but as Neil believes it produces better grapes.
Grapes are picked in stages, the first and second pick is whole bunch pressed, the riper final batch is crushed before pressing. No sulphur is added at the press to allow juice to oxidise. Free run from the first pick fermented in tank, the rest in larger-format oak. The tank ferment is inoculated with a low level of cultured yeasts and is later used as a ‘starter’ for the juice in barrels. Once the ferments are dry, the wine is sulphured to prevent oxidisation and malo. The wine is then kept in a cool room, the temperature is varied to encourage movement of the wine in barrel and ‘stir’ the lees without having to open the barrels. Some barrels ‘stick’ and fermentation remains incomplete. This provides a hint of sweetness and weight to the wine, and is a wonderful counterpoint to the bright citric and malic acidity. The wine is lightly filtered before bottling.
The winemaking has evolved since the first vintage in 1997, the current style is more in line with modern Alsatian producers. A Golden Delicious apple and William pear fruitiness with some ginger spice. Perfect match with pork.
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