2016 was one of the most varied vintages in years for the Southern Regions in WA. An early budburst followed by a relatively hot dry Spring and mild Summer saw early flowering and fruit set, every indication was for one of the earliest and quickest vintages on record. However heavy rain mid-January and onset of cold nighttime temperatures slowed sugar accumulation but in turn helped flavour development. Crop levels were up on 2015, but still relatively low. Selection of picking date and fastidious vineyard management was crucial in 2016 with narrow ripening windows and some disease pressure. Riesling and Chardonnay were exceptional and Frankland River reds were the pick of the harvest.
After first pressing the Gewurztraminer grapes for its aromatic juice, the skins were then reused and fermented with sparkling Chardonnay juice. The fermenting of white grape skins in white wine has ancient origins before people discovered ways to separate the clear juice thousands of years ago. The ferment started naturally and was treated like a red wine with gentle hand plunging 3 times a day in a small fermenter. The funk moved along at cellar temperature and was finished in a week or so. The wine sat on skins to continue to extract tannins and Gewurztraminer rose garden character. Pressing was a gentle affair with excess wines squeezed out using our hands.
Residual Sugar: <1g/L
Date picked: 11-19th Feb 2016