All of our wines are estate grown at Bell Hill and go back to our first four vintages of Old Weka Pass Road Pinot Noir from 1999 to 2002 before our inaugural Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2003 vintage and Bell Hill Chardonnay 2004 vintage.
The 2000 season was characterised by a damp spring and frequent light rainfall in the summer, therefore irrigation was not required. Crop thinning pre-veraison was significant at 50-70% due to the coolness of the season and a stable autumn followed, allowing the fruit to ripen to maximum potential before some drizzle set in. The grapes were left to hang for a week to allow the vines to return to balance.
In 2000 there were widespread bird problems in the region and we did not escape this - crop levels were severely affected. We have since opted for an alternative ‘blanket’ netting system, rather than having the netting over each row, and the results have been very positive. The fruit was picked extremely ripe with good acid balance and intense dark berry fruit in sound condition.
OLD WEKA PASS ROAD
PINOT NOIR 2000
The grapes are from the Quarry block at Bell Hill Vineyard, in their second year of production. The clones include 113, 114, 667, 777, and 10/5. The vines were picked on 30 April at 25 Brix, 3.6 pH and 7.8g/L TA, with just under one tonne harvested.
The grapes were sorted by hand before destemming and then cold soaked for six days with hand plunging and pumping over. A natural ferment developed after warming and cultured yeast was added when this fermentation was active. To prevent over-extraction the wine was pressed at dryness into French barriques with its lees. Malolactic was spontaneous during the winter. Sixty percent new oak was used and the wine was lightly filtered before bottling in May 2001.