Jo's notes about her Hawkesbridge Marlborough Chardonnay
Estate grown, vinified, matured and bottled; this is a genuine handcrafted wine, which happens far more rarely than you would think.

The 2017 vintage was by far the most challenging harvest I have worked in my 16 long years as a winemaker. It was so cold. There were rain and insect and logistical challenges, a truck shortage and huge disease pressure. But Chardonnay is such a clever thing. It loves to be challenged, and it rises to the occasion to embrace the good. It is also generously and heartwarmingly forgiving so we winemakers love her unconditionally.

This was all barrel fermented in small batches (so easily achievable when the vineyard is 200m from the winery door) and matured on full lees. I've only selected one new barrel to be included in the blend (there are 14 barrels total) so the portion of new oak is low. There is so much going on in the blend that I wanted you to smell and taste  and too much new oak would overpower it.

Selecting which barrels would make up the finished wine was loads of fun. There were six different picks to choose from, and a range of barrel sizes from Barriques to Puncheons, all French coopers.

I hope you love this wine as much as I do. It’s made a challenging vintage so worthwhile.

Jo Gear
Head Winemaker
New Zealand Wine Society

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