All fruit is hand-picked early in the morning and immediately de-stemmed but not crushed. Some batches are left to cold soak for 4-5 days, while others are fermented immediately. Both natural and cultured yeasts are used. Both pumping over and punching down are used for cap management. Some ferments undergo post-ferment maceration depending on tannin structure and style.
After fermentation the wine is gently pressed to oak barrels, 30% new, 30% one year old, the rest two and three years old. After 11 months of barrel maturation, the wine is assembled and bottled without filtration or fining. Hoddles Creek Pinot Noir typically shows aromas and flavours of red berries and dark cherry. Ripe, firm mid-palate tannins give structure and lead into a long, attractive finish with pleasing acidity.
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.