2015 Home Collection Release
Embracing the warm 2015 vintage completely, we celebrated stepping in to this harvest with the most beautiful fruit. Perfect flowering, wonderful summer weather conditions allowed for full production off our tiny 2.2 hectare vineyards. Warmer vintages allow for the vine to move further into our soils looking for water, penetrating deep into the limestone at a length of over 5 meters deep. All home wines have moved into a new dimension of flavour and tension solely due to the contribution of the limestone soils we grow on. The wines have years of cellaring potential, are showing their terroir at a vine age of 15 years very different to the earlier years of Pyramid Valley.
“One is happiest when he loves both the wine he makes and the people who drink it.”
Gerald Potel – friend, hero, mentor
Our search for this very special place we call home was a journey of almost two decades. From falling for the mystery and wonder of wine, through work and study in Burgundy and around the world, to our wide-eyed discovery of New Zealand, and the five year quest for a site here that could combine all of the characteristics we so adamantly sought – marginal climate, clay-limestone soils, scarp slopes, eastern to northern aspect, etc. – finding our way home has been a ranging, rich and fascinating migration.
We’ve developed four vineyards here over the last fifteen years, two of Pinot Noir, and two of Chardonnay. Their unusual shapes and differing sizes have been determined by describing, and then adhering to, discrete areas of homogenous soil and aspect. Each block is vinified and bottled separately, as an expression of its specific place.
Our vineyard names are derived from common names of predominant weed species in each block. As soil conditions change, our weed mix responds accordingly. We have managed these vineyards biodynamically from the very beginning, doing so by hand for our first two tractor-less years. It’s perhaps little surprise then, that we’ve become somewhat intimate with (and even fond of) our weed population.
Earth Smoke Pinot Noir: for fumitory (from the Latin fumus terrae), a gentle and tender weed, with a beautiful magenta flower. Its wispy gray-green foliage, rising from newly cultivated ground, does indeed resemble smoke, especially in the half-light of dawn.
Angel Flower Pinot Noir: for yarrow, a lovely grassland and pasture plant with very fine, fennel-like leaves, and a brilliant, composite mass of delicate white flowers. Yarrow is the basis of biodynamic preparation 502, and has a strong association with heat and light.
Lion’s Tooth Chardonnay: for the common dandelion (from the French dent de lion), whose serrated leaves resemble feline teeth. Dandelion is a spectacularly well-balanced plant, and is enormously useful: its early leaves are delicious in salads, its root can be used to make a tonic coffee-like drink, and its flowers engender both wine, and biodynamic preparation 506.
Field of Fire Chardonnay: for the much-maligned grass, commonly called twitch or quack (Latin Agropyron repens), a crafty plant with creeping rhizomes, nemesis to many a home gardener. Twitch usefully shatters the somewhat dense clays at the surface of this small block, while not competing at limey depth with our vine roots.