Friday, March 11, 2011

Picking savagnin at Quarry Hill

Savagnin was planted at Quarry Hill in 2006. Thought at the time to be 'real' albarino, it has since looked well-suited to the site. A tiny amount of fruit was picked in 2009 for a micro-ferment of 27 litres. In 2010, more fruit (most rack-dried to make an experimental dessert wine, some off to Brian Schmidt at Maipenrai).

For vintage 2011, the savagnin vines were cane-pruned back to 6-8 buds per cane, with double or tirple buds flicked out by hand. Later in the season, the vines were shoot-thinned to control yield but also to shape the canopy and ensure good airflow in this wet year.

Picking happened on Monday March 7, along with the sauvignon blanc, and the savagnin plantings provided 2.4 tonnes of good quality fruit. Tasting the fruit at picking, then the juice from the press that evening, the main impressions were of citrus and crunching through a green-skinned apple.

So from planting vines in the winter of 2006, we should have a dry, textural new white wine available around August 2011. It's important not to rush these things.

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