2016 was an excellent growing season in Hawkes Bay with the Chardonnay grapes picked in excellent condition. After a gentle pressing the juice was run directly to French oak Hogshead barrels. Most of the barrels were allowed to ferment with the wild yeasts that came in from the vineyard and the balance was inoculated with selected yeast strains. Some parcels were put through malolactic fermentation to soften the natural acidity and add richness to the palate. The young wine then stayed in contact with its yeast lees for 10 months, before being blended and prepared for bottling.
The 2016 Te Awa Single Estate Chardonnay is sourced from several of our best vineyard blocks, located on free draining gravel soils. Each block has been planted with its own clone to match the varying soil patterns across the vineyard. This blend contains three clones of chardonnay (Mendoza, B95 and UCD15) which all contribute to the balance and complexity of the final wine. Intensive management during the season resulted in low yielding vines which produced high quality parcels of fruit.