Our philosophy is to allow nature and seasonal variation to be expressed in the wines; the wines being a direct reflection of the vineyard.
The vineyard has been chemical free since 2000 and it is our intention to begin biodynamic treatments in the near future. A number of new processes are being employed in the vineyard this season including the use of an under-vine weeder which runs a blade beneath the soil to sever the roots of the weeds. An aerator will be employed to aerate the soil and encourage micro-organism growth, and the canes from pruning have been mulched and left to increase organic matter in the mid-rows.
Whilst the vines are carefully managed organically, intervention is kept to a minimum enabling the natural character of the fruit to be developed over the season. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit is managed for low yields of between 1 and 2 tonnes per acre. The Pinot Gris is a more vigorous variety and therefore naturally produces more fruit to maintain balance with the canopy growth. We are experimenting with cropping levels to achieve ultimate balance and therefore quality, believing this balance to be somewhere between 2 and 3.5 tonne per acre. The grapes are all hand-picked, stored cold in an air-conditioned shed and sent off site to the winery during the month of March.
The Pinot vines are situated on a north facing slope whilst the chardonnay vines have been planted on top of the hill. The vines are hand-pruned and de-budded to ensure they are balanced to ripen the following season’s fruit.
Since 2008 we have employed a Wine Maker, Scott Ireland, to make our suite of wines: the Pierrepoint Pinot Noir, Nick’s Pick Pinot Gris, Alexandra Chardonnay, Sparkling Pinot Gris, and Lacey Late Harvest Dessert Pinot Gris. This has proved to be an extremely successful decision with accolades and awards being regularly presented to our vintages ever since.
Pierrepoint Pinot Noir
Our first vintage of Pinot Noir in 2002 came off the vines on Anzac Day, the 25th April. Over the years, harvest has occurred earlier in the season and mid to late March has become the norm. The fruit is generally picked at 13.5% beaume depending on the levels of acid and the flavours found in the fruit. The majority of the pinot noir is de-stemmed (a small proportion is fermented as whole bunch) and fermented in open vats. Utmost attention is given to the juice during fermentation including regular plunging to encourage maximum colour extraction. The wine is then very gently pressed and placed into a balanced proportion of new and old French oak; 30%, on average, being new French oak barrique barrels from the Burgundian forests. Maleolactic fermentation occurs naturally once the temperature increases after which the wine is lightly sulphured. The pinot remains in oak for the majority of the year. The finished wine is selected from the best blend of barrels, generally being bottled prior to the next harvest and released approximately 6 months later.
Pinot Noir wine was made in the Pierrepoint winery with small portions of the harvest from the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintages. The 2004 Pinot Noir won many awards including a gold medal at the Boutique Wine Show in Sydney in 2005 and then went on to win a trophy for the “Best Estate Grown and Produced” wine of the show. The majority of the fruit from the 2006 and 2007 harvests were sold, however a small amount of Pinot Noir was made into a rosë in 2006. We purchased a small quantity of shiraz fruit from a local producer in 2007 to fill some of our empty barrels and since 2008 we have employed a Wine Maker, Scott Ireland, to make our suite of wines: the Pierrepoint Pinot Noir, Pierrepoint Nick’s Pick Pinot Gris, Pierrepoint Alexandra Chardonnay, Pierrepoint Sparkling Pinot Gris & Pierrepoint Late Harves Pinot Gris. This has proved to be an extremely successful decision with accolades and awards being regularly presented to our vintages ever since. Our Pinot Noir has been particularly well received and normally sells out within the season, although we make sure to keep some cellared for our loyal Pierrepoint Proclaimer Wine Club members.
Pierrepoint Nick’s Pick Pinot Gris
Carefully handpicked generally during mid March, the fruit is whole bunch pressed in a gentle central membrane press.Roughly cold settled in tank overnight, approximately 10% is racked to old oak the next day and left to be fermented by indigenous yeast.The balance is fermented at cool temperatures in tank.The tank portion provides fruitfulness and the barrels contribute complexity.The wine matures for ten months on fermentation lees in both barrel and tank prior to being racked, protein and cold stabilised and then sterile filtered to bottle.
Pierrepoint Alexandra Chardonnay
The grapes were picked with the intention of retaining natural acidity whilst not compromising fruit power. The fruit was harvested early for freshness with careful barrel fermentation/maturation ensuring oak plays a subtle support role. Long in mineral-like flavour, the fruit was whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented using indigenous yeasts in 30% new oak. The wine was sulphured early to retain freshness, vitality and a natural acid thread, then left on lees in barrel for 10 months when it was transferred into tank and left for a further 6 months on its lees contributing to its finesse and creamy complexity.