The fruit for NGERINGA Chardonnay comes from our east-facing Summit vineyard at 380m above sea level on a soil of sandy loam over clay. The top of the vineyard has views over Lake Alexandrina and the mouth of the Murray, which make themselves known on summer evenings with a strong cooling breeze despite daytime temperatures. The vines are planted at a density of 6800 vines/ha.
Picked at 12º Baumé. All natural acidity. Whole-bunch pressed. Spontaneous wild yeast and 100% malolactic fermentation. No battonâge. Matured for 12 months in concrete egg. Sulfur added only at bottling.
Across Australia, the 2013 growing season was characterised by record-breaking heat and infrequent, scant rainfalls. Indeed, in the Eastern States – and even closer to home – many vineyards began irrigating in the late winter in anticipation of a devastatingly dry spring to come. In years such as this the Adelaide Hills’ typically higher precipitation and lower temperature stand us in good stead. Our minimally irrigated vines – with strong, healthy roots deeply embedded in the cooling soil – steadfastly withstood the drier weather and benefitted from the cooler nights. On the positive side, as well, there was essentially no disease pressure throughout the Hills leaving us and our vines only the vagaries of the climate to contend with. Good warmth toward the end of February and during harvest ensured excellent ripening in the final few weeks of the season. The upshot was a vintage with good yields, similar to our 2010 crop levels although without the same evenness. Vigilance was required during this condensed, four-week harvest to ensure that fruit was picked at optimum maturity from the different parts of the vineyards. Wines from this vintage tend to be tight and focused.