Bannockburn Pinot Gris 2016
Tasting notes to come
Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Gris will improve for 3-5 years given optimal vintage and cellaring conditions.
Our winter was dry so we came into the season with low soil moisture, October was significantly warmer than average leading to early bud burst, November carried this warm dry start on and whilst we had a small amount of rainfall leading into December it too was largely drier than normal. This led to an early and successful flowering. January was unseasonably changeable, whilst we had some rain it was the wind and changeability that really influenced growing conditions, delaying the onset of veraison. February cracked on with some super warm and mostly dry conditions outside of one large rainfall event late in the month. March was again unseasonably changeable and overcast with small rain events occurring through the month. Finally, the sun returned in April, along with more settled, warm weather. The variability and overcast days delayed the onset of picking. The vintage was very compact; with everything being harvested over a 24 day period.
The grapes for the wines that carry the Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Estate label are subject to two strict criteria: they are managed by our viticultural team and must be sourced from Bannockburn vineyards - the south side of the Kawarau River in the southern Cromwell basin. Each has a specific terroir, largely influenced by climate, and offers a variety of soil types from open gravels to heavier clays. Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Estate Pinot Gris is blended from seven of our Bannockburn vineyards: Templars Hill, Long Gully, Bannockburn Bay, Ferris, Lytefoot, Swansong and Pipeclay Terrace. Templars Hill, Pipeclay Terrace, Swansong and Lytefoot have a combination of heavy Scotland Point clay soils alternating with the drought prone coarse gravel Bannockburn soils. Long Gully consists of Lochar soils, which are well-drained, high pH soils ideally suited to viticulture. Ferris and Bannockburn Bay are the result of dune formation from parent material blown across the river from the Cromwell flats. They are very low in both fertility and water holding capacity.
Winemaking considerations to come