Greystone ‘Vineyard Ferment’ Pinot Noir 2016


Since 2012, winemaker Dom Maxwell and his team at Greystone Wines in North Canterbury have been investigating the effects of fermenting Pinot Noir grapes in the vineyard where they grow. The basis of this trialling is to attempt to have the wine more expressive of its origin and demonstrate terroir, as well as vintage with greater clarity. Dom presented his methodology and research at the Pinot Noir 2017 conference to a very interested audience. The grapes are picked, destemmed at the winery and returned to the vineyard placing them in a fermenter placed amidst the vines where the fruit came from. The fermentation is left to the indigenous vineyard yeasts, and the fermenters are exposed more to the elements rather than have the protection of a winery building. Dom reports that the fermentation process undergoes a wider range of temperatures, and that the grapes can experience higher levels of maceration, partly through the longer time for the fermentation to go through, or from warm vintage weather.

The Greystone team have been so pleased with the resultant wine that an increasing proportion of vineyard ferment wine is being included in the overall Greystone Pinot Noir. Dom reports the wine is lighter in colour, possesses lifted floral aromas with spice and red fruit characters, and the wine has plenty of structure. My own personal experience is that there appears to be greater layers of complexing savoury aromas and flavours. With the 2016 vintage, Greystone has bottled a Pinot Noir made exclusively from vineyard fermented fruit. The vintage was notable for the warm harvest conditions, so the grapes were given a short 24 hours pre-ferment soak. Here is my review of the wine. www.greystonewines.co.nz


  • Greystone ‘Vineyard Ferment’ North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016

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