Previous Vintages

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 2010 vintage season began with a cool, wet spring and late snow in September. We had periods of warm weather but generally the quite cool trends extended into flowering. It was a great spring for planting our final blocks with 10,000 vines, the moisture giving them a good start to their new life at Bell Hill. Flowering occurred over an elongated period and resulted in small bunches with low fruit set, hence reduced yields. Veraison followed flowering in its tempo – long and uneven. However, from February we experienced a return to summer and enjoyed a long period of higher temperatures and even conditions allowing us to bring in our small crop successfully and giving us a great range of flavour profile and tannin structure.

Harvest began on the 15th of April with the Shelf Pinot Noir, followed by the Shelf Chardonnay on the 19th, the Quarry Rootlings and half of the 10/5 Pinot Noir (Quarry Blend) on the 23rd and the remainder of the Quarry 10/5 and the Limeworks Chardonnay came in on the 26th. No Limeworks Pinot Noir anymore due to replanting this in the spring with Chardonnay.  In all, a short harvest period of 11 days showing how the Indian summer evened things up. Due to the loose bunch structure and the cooler early summer, we chose to de-stem all of the Pinot Noir.


The Bell Hill Pinot Noir is a four barrel selection from the Shelf (3.49pH, 6.39TA, 24.8 Brix), the Quarry Blend (3.52pH, 8.7TA, 25.4 Brix) and Quarry 10/5 (3.4pH, 8.43TA, 24.6 Brix).  Each of these portions were harvested, fermented and aged in barrels separately.  The Pinot Noir was completely de-stemmed and all lots had 28 days on skins with cold pre-ferment and warm post-ferment macerations.  The French oak was 100% new and the wine was racked and blended after 12 months in barrel.  It had 10 months in tank and was bottled on the 13th of February 2012 with a pH of 3.68, TA of 6.21g/L and alcohol of 13.5%.  Approximately 882 bottles were produced.
The wine has a deep, cool blue fruit nose with lifted spice aromas and earthy overtones. It shows a big palate structure with generous mineral fruit held quite firmly by its tannins. It needs time to open up and soften but shows windows of ample fruit while the mineral characters dominate and lengthen the palate.


Only one and a half barrels resulted from 2010, being a blend from the Shelf (3.3pH, 9.22TA, 23.1 Brix) and Limeworks (3.17pH, 9.08TA, 22.5 Brix) blocks.

The fruit was whole-cluster pressed in our tank press and underwent 100% malolactic fermentation, spending 12 months in a one year old barrel and an older half barrel and 8 months in tank. The wine was bottled on the 15th of December 2011 with a pH of 3.36, TA of 6.4 g/L and alcohol of 13.7%. Approximately 457 bottles were produced.

The wine has lovely, fine floral aromas, hints of flint and saline nuances. The palate is fine, long and mineral with a tactile, chalky phenolic presence. It is very balanced and mineral, focused and tight.


The Old Weka Pass Road Pinot Noir is a two and a half barrel selection from the Quarry Blend and the Quarry 10/5.The handling is as above and the French oak was 80% new. The wine was racked and blended after 12 months in barrel, it had 10 months in tank and was bottled on the 13th of February 2012 with a pH of 3.66, TA of 6.14g/L and alcohol of 13.5%.  Approximately 558 bottles were produced.

The aromas give blue fruit characters with slight reduction, opening up to give earthy hints and becoming quite perfumed. It has full palate flavour, fine grained tannins extending the palate and a nice salivating juiciness and spicy lift to the finish.