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.
A warm start to the season with one frost in October allowed us to run our newly installed overhead sprinkler frost protection system. October was the coolest on record and November was uncharacteristically affected by persistent drizzle, influencing cap fall during flowering and resulting in poor fruit-set and subsequent low yields. December showed improvements in the weather only to be followed by hail in January and 263mL of rain. It was a cool season in general, with stable periods in February and March but more rain at the beginning of April.
Drainage work carried out the previous winter was timely in allowing excess moisture to drain away quickly. A feature of limestone soils is their ability to hold water yet also drain readily, never to become waterlogged in periods of rainfall.
The season showed slow ripening development however harvest dates were similar to previous years, due partly to low yields. The Shelf was picked on 12 April and the Quarry on 25 April (Anzac Day). We also picked our fist crop of Chardonnay on the 25 April.
OLD WEKA PASS ROAD
PINOT NOIR 2002
The grapes are from the Quarry block at Bell Hill Vineyard, in their fourth year of production. The clones include 113, 114, 667, 777, and 10/5 and were picked at 22.3 Brix, 3.67 pH and 7.2g/L TA; 1.125 tonnes were harvested. The grapes were sorted by hand and 70% destemmed with 30% whole clusters added and cold-soaked for seven days with pumping over. Cultured yeast was added after warming and the wine was pressed off at dryness after five days into French oak barriques with the lees, 50% new oak was used. Malolactic fermentation was spontaneous in December 2002 and the wine spent thirteen months in barrel before bottling with a light filtration. Analysis at bottling was 3.43 pH, 5.83g/L TA, 12.72% alcohol.