This 'little rascal' (the Italian translation of Arneis) was produced from three quite distinctive vineyards on the banks of the Ngaruroro River in Hawkes Bay. The majority of the fruit is grown on free draining silt and sand soils. A very stony site on recent alluvial gravels produced intensely flavoured fruit with the balance from a small hillside vineyard delivering minerality and fine acidity to the blend. The immaculately tended vines were cropped to very low levels which allowed excellent concentration and flavour to develop in a cooler season.
Fruit from each vineyard was hand harvested at optimum ripeness and processed separately to provide blending options. The trays of fruit were chilled down to below 5°C and then gently whole bunch pressed under a protective inert gas cover, delicately releasing the juice from the berries. Cold settling followed and the resulting bright juice was racked cleanly off solids to commence fermentation in stainless steel tanks. A cool fermentation of 12-14°C followed with neutral and aromatic yeast strains to preserve the purity of fruit aromatics in the wine. After fermentation the wine remained on yeast lees with stirring for eight weeks to enhance mouth-feel. The wine was then racked to the final blend, gently isinglass fined, filtered and immediately bottled, capturing flavour, freshness and intensity.
For the debut vintage of our Arneis, the winemaking process was deliberately managed to showcase the different vineyard sites involved. The nose of this wine exhibits an array of green gooseberry, hops, citrus, honeysuckle and mineral characters. The palate follows through with tangy acidity, leading to a dry style finish.