Grapes were picked into crates and pre-chilled fruit to below 5 deg C for whole bunch pressing. Juice was settled and racked to barrels with some solids. No acid was added. The juice underwent wild yeast ferment, which lasted for 3 weeks and continued to dryness. All barrels were left on lees for 12 months and a quarter were inoculated for malolactic ferment. Lees stirring aided the extraction of the creamy, nutty yeast lees elements in the wine.
Excellent growing season with mild temperatures and few extremes of heat. 1304 Heat degree days in total and low rainfall with just 76 mm of rain from October to end February. An average season has 1270 Heat degree days and 196mm rain Oct to end February. Harvest on 6th March was well before our average pick date of 3rd April. Harvest dates have been advancing rapidly over the last few years. Prior to 2007, we had never picked Chardonnay prior to the 19th March. Since 2007 we have harvested every year but one by the first week of March.
Crop levels at 2.9 kg per vine were slightly above average.