Black Estate Young Vines Chardonnay 2018
This Black Estate Home Young Vines Chardonnay was grown on our 1.0 Ha vineyard located 6 kilometres North East of the Waipara Junction, in the Omihi sub-district of Waipara Valley, North Canterbury. This is a north facing sedimentary clay fan on a gentle hill side slope, that sits above the original older Chardonnay vines. The soils are mainly Awapuni clay with calcium carbonate deposits. This new planting completed in 2011 has 1.0ha planted at 6177 vine/ha with Mendoza, B95, ENTAV-INRA®548, and ENTAV-INRA®1066 clones, all planted on 3309 rootstock. The Home Vineyard is fully certified organic with BioGro.
Moderate winter rain fall allowed budburst to occur in spring with the soil at field capacity. A mild frost free spring meant rapid and even establishment of canopies. Six weeks of no rain in late spring brought on an early and rapid flowering that was complete across all blocks and all varieties within 7 days. Intermittent rainfall from December through the remainder of the growing season created useful vigour but increased the requirement for under vine weeding, canopy thinning and trimming. A hot humid summer increased the risk of disease from powdery Mildew or botrytis so our vineyard team worked tirelessly right up to harvest removing leaves and some fruit to create maximum ventilation in the canopies and ensure we could harvest ripe and disease free fruit. Harvest commenced mid-march and was condensed and early in most blocks. . Diligent hand harvesting was crucial checking that each bunch was suitable for harvest. Growers in the region were very grateful for warm, dry, and windy conditions from March 25 to April 8 2018 that finished off ripening perfectly. 2018 will be remembered as a vigorous, warm, and humid season that was demanding but produced outstanding fruit.