In the Vineyard

We have something new in our vineyard this year – a lovely little batch of Aglianico. This underappreciated Southern Italian beauty is quite possibly the oldest cultivated grape in Italy and certainly deserves every bit as much praise and attention as its better known fratelli, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. As a grape with fantastic colour, aroma and intensity of flavour, we have little doubt it will make notable wines growing in our biodynamic soils. A very small batch – no more than 50 litres – will be bottled this year and made available exclusively to our Solstice Premium members. Keep your eyes open for further details!

2015 was a mild and dry vintage that ended with a bit of a bang. A lack of frost and warm soils throughout late winter and early spring led to early budburst and flowering with the vines starting to show signs of stress in December. And then came January. After an extreme (though blessedly short lived) heat spike that was largely to blame for the devastating fires at Sampson’s Flat, a significant downpour both dowsed the distant flames and gave the vines great reprieve. Despite the moisture and break in the temperatures, the grapes were still well on their way to vintage. We began picking the Pinot Noir for our Éclat NV on 6 February and concluded with our Aglianico on 2 April, our earliest ever harvest. Despite the hastened vintage – and as a direct result of our cooler-than-normal January, the grapes retained fantastic acidity and freshness of flavour. The wines from this vintage have terrific concentration, typical of a dry year with low yields.