Following a wetter than average winter and spring with below average summer temperatures, Barossa’s 2017 harvest was three to four weeks later than in recent years. As the season progressed, later ripening varieties like Mataro and Grenache were tracking 4 to 5 weeks later. The mild conditions and healthy soil moisture levels were pertinent for flavour development and conducive to ‘filling’ out the berries resulting in higher than average yields.
Another strong year for Barossa, the 2017 vintage promises to deliver an array of wine styles, from “bright, aromatic wines”, through to “vibrant, intense, well-structured” and “dense, concentrated” wines from the earlier-picked vineyards.
The Montepulciano vineyard is located on our Stonewell Estate. Planted in 2001, this was Australia’s first vineyard planted to this variety indigenous to Italy. Trained onto a single cordon wire, the canopies produced from the well-established bilateral cordons are managed using a VSP [verticle shoot positioning] trellising system. This variety is very fruitful and assists with growing intensly flavoured, yet balanced fruit. Bunch thinning is carried out post véraison. The brown clay soils have shallow underlying sedimentary bedrock. Montepulciano is a late ripening grape variety but despite the longer ripening period it has an exceptional ability to retain great acidity levels in warm growing conditions.
The hand-harvested fruit is destemmed to an open top fermenter. The must is inoculated and allowed to ferment between 22-25ºC until dry. The cap is managed by pumping over twice daily without splashing. Once primary fermentation has been completed the skins are retained and allowed to macerate for a further 15 days before being bag pressed and racked to new and seasoned French oak. The wine is bottled 12 months after harvest to ensure the style retains its vibrancy and primary fruit freshness.