2017 was a memorable and challenging vintage. We had a wonderful warm start to the growing season, with good soil moisture helping the vines to grow well. We then experienced cold temperatures during flowering, resulting in lower yields and smaller bunches in our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The temperatures never really soared and we will remember this vintage as having one of the coldest growing seasons, coupled with challenging rain events just before and during harvest.
Challenging seasons prove to us how robust organic and biodynamically grown fruit can be. Our ethos to grow smaller yields allowed the fruit to ripen with concentration and lower alcohols. Selecting the fruit by handpicking in the vineyard also allowed us to receive fruit in optimum condition. With its smaller bunches, the 2017 vintage reminds us a lot of 2012, a vintage that we loved, and we are certainly excited to see the wines so far promising elegance without manipulation.
The Pinot Noir is powerful in colour and natural acidity. We adapted our cap management slightly to keep tannin structures down, using some pump overs rather than pigeage. The Chardonnay is showing beautiful acidity, minerality and texture, so we will adjust our oak use to complement and balance this. The Sauvignon Blanc promises to showcase our signature complexity, with a slightly lower alcohol.
All in all a memorable harvest – and one we will cherish in a few years’ time. Our focus has now turned to maintenance and soil rejuvenation within the vineyard, with pruning starting around Solstice.