The 2018 growing season had a reasonable start with adequate rainfall through winter and early spring. Healthy canopies were established across all sites and the dry and warm conditions of late January and February kept weeds and disease pressures to a low. February proved to be a very warm month which stalled ripening and it wasn’t until the relief of a mild March that the outlook for a great harvest looked imminent.
The late Indian summer enhanced the quality of late picked varieties such as Mataro, Grenache, Montepulciano and Cabernet. 2018 came off the back of two big vintages so it was no surprise this harvest was likely to be down on average with most crops down by 20-25%. The wines produced were very balanced, had ripe phenolics and display vibrant mid palate weight, a spectacular vintage for good structure and elegance.
Showcasing the versatility of our Montepulciano. The fruit was handpicked on 12th April at the crack of dawn. We gave the must a few hours on skins before being pressed under inert gas. A short rest over 24 hours to settle, then racked for fermentation. The slow cool ferment took a couple of weeks to complete to dryness. The yeast was separated via a racking and then preparations commenced for bottling, this took place on August 1st.
The Montepulciano vineyard is located on our Stonewell Estate. Fruit for the Rosé is from our second planting  of this Italian indigenous variety. Trained onto single cordon wire, the canopies produced from the well-established bilateral cordons are managed using a VSP [vertical shoot positioning] trellising system. This variety is very fruitful and assists with growing intensely flavoured, yet balanced fruit. Bunch thinning is carried out twice post vérasion. The brown clay soils have shallow underlying sedimentary bedrock.