|Stephen Pannell is one of Australia's most decorated winemakers, Jimmy Watson and twice Max Schubert Trophy winner, London International Winemaker of Year and Chairman National Wine Show. He found time in between tours of duty at Wirra Wirra, Tintara and BRL Hardy, to do vintage in Burgundy, at the illustrious Mouton Rothschild and amongst the grand old vines of Barolo. SC Pannell»|
|Named for a rare grasshopper Sigaus childi, found only at Central Otago within the Earnscleugh gold mine tailings, just across the road from Grasshopper Rock vineyard. The site is fortuitously harsh and sufficiently challenging to make the vines work their hardest. Grasshopper Rock»|
|The wines of Shadowfax have gone from strength to strength in a very short space of time, due in no small part to the remarkable quality of fruit. A prolific trophy winner, Shadowfax have achieved the new wave of Chardonnay, refreshingly fruit driven, livelier than it's Victorian siblings, characterised by slatey, flavoursome acidity, a touch of lees complexity and judicious dryness. Shadowfax»|
|Rob Sticks Dolan's career in the wine industry began under the tutelage of Greg Clayfield and John Vickery at the enduring Rouge Homme. Dolan established his affinity for Pinot Noir on the international stage when he claimed the prestigious Bouchard-Finlayson Trophy for Champion Pinot Noir at the prestigious London International. Sticks»|
|Yealands Seaview Vineyard is exposed to some of the toughest growing conditions in Marlborough, high sunshine and billowing winds wind, cool nights and low rainfalls for a smaller, thicker skinned Pinot Gris of exciting intensity. Fruit from the relatively flat, coastal L6M block, provides a pure mineral elegance to the structural backbone. Yealands Estate»|
|Zilzie know from good Shiraz, they have grown the finest fruit for decades and now retain access to the most splendid vineyards. The quality of their winemaking has claimed thirty trophies since they embarked on their own label. Zilzie»|
|Woodhenge is about big ideas, in the manner of cyclopean fences built by Australia's early settlers. A wine of great elemental sculpture, the assemblage of individual vineyard and sub-regional characteristics is the key to success of the style. Wirra Wirra»|
|The highly opportune Pinot Noir vines at Bird In Hand are planted on the site of an ancient gold mine, a godsend of fortuitously fertile soils, magnificent growing conditions for stellar quality Adelaide Hill wines. Fermented in own bottle and aged five years on lees in true Méthode champenoise, the term of extended maturation imparts luxurious biscuit notes, chantilly crème and frais de bois. Bird In Hand»|
|David O'Leary really knows about things Cabernet Sauvignon, having claimed a Jimmy Watson Trophy and twice International Red Wine Maker of the Year. From low yielding vines up to fifty years of age, grown to superior sites within the Armagh Valley and Polish Hill River districts, the O'Leary Walker team create a powerful and complex, exquisitely perfumed and seamlessly layered Cabernet Sauvignon, framed by judicious oak and supported by graceful tannins, reflecting the idyllic growing climes of Valley Clare. OLeary Walker»|
|Adam Jackson bought the first blocks of land at the heart of Marlborough and took up farming in 1855. His wife planted a gumtree along Jacksons Road, it remains a regional icon and can be seen on the Jackson estate label. Jackson Estate»|
|Characterized by its controlled power, elegance and finesse, a very special Pyrenees wine which redefines the great Cabernet virtues of stature, structure and length. The inaugural release claimed Gold and Best Wine ahead of two timeless Bordeaux icons, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Cos d'Estournel. Taltarni»|
|Pinot Meunier like no other, certainly the most distinguished bottling of its kind anywhere in the new world. Mostly old vine Concongella Pinot Meuniere, from grapes picked off parcels established 1970, with the inclusion of a priceless component of ancient vines 1868 Pinot Noir. Bests»|
Celestial Bay is the result of Michael and Kim O’Brien’s long standing passion for wine which led them to the Margaret River region in search of a property suitable for viticulture
The adage that great wine is made from great fruit, drives the efforts in the vineyard. Celestial Bay's wine is crafted from exclusively estate grown fruit to maintain control over every aspect of the production process. Fruit is picked at the level of ripeness required for each style of wine. Vigilance is paid to cropping levels to allow the vines to achieve optimum ripeness and concentration of flavour and colour compounds. This often involves hand management of the vineyard, dropping fruit when excess crop is developing and managing canopy structure to provide the most efficient utilisation of sun energy and optimal bunch exposure. Extensive experience making wine in the Margaret River region and time working in France have shaped the approach at Celestial Bay. New World winemaking requires fastidious attention to hygiene in the winery, effective management of fermentation microbiology, careful stewardship of the wine post fermentation to bottling, whilst employing an artisanal approach to the vinification.
The perfect location was identified on Metricup Road, Wilyabrup. A former dairy farm, the site provides all the necessary requirements - good soil, a moderate maritime climate and reliable rainfall. This proximity to the ocean provides a moderating effect on the microclimate, reducing temperature extremes and ensuring a more secure water resource. The vineyard is moderately undulating, with a 5% gradient being the steepest slope on the property, and is situated at between 90 and 100 meters above sea level. The vineyard is set to a vertical shoot positioned canopy structure, allowing a machine harvest of the fruit. A block of the vineyard can be quickly picked, at the same level of ripeness.
Fresh, un-wooded white styles are fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Maintaining temperatures during ferment at 14 - 16 C is essential to ensure that delicate aromatic flavour compounds in the fruit are preserved. Specific yeast strains that enhance these aromas are also used. Our aim is to bottle these wines early, capturing the essence of the fruit. These wines are made to be enjoyed within 2 years of bottling.
The Chardonnay style is evolving as the vineyard matures. Previous vintages have seen a measured approach to the use of oak and wine-making heroics, as the fruit power required to absorb and meld with such characteristics had not yet developed. The oak component is gradually increased from year to year, putting components through barrel fermentation and lees stirring. More new oak will continue to build the level of complexity, while retaining finesse and structure, which has become an expected trait of Celestial Bay Chardonnay.
Full-bodied red wines are made in the tradtional way utilising small open pot fermenters, employing intensive maceration techniques. Each ferment is hand plunged four times a day with twice daily pump-overs (where the fermenting juice is pumped from the bottom of the tank to be percolated through the skin-cap) ensuring that extraction of skin components is maximised. Pumping over also introduces oxygen to the process, stabilising and softening the polyphenol components we are extracting from the skins.
Red wines made in this fashion show good colour and a more integrated tannin structure as young wines and have the potential for greater longevity. The intent is to ensure the extract of polyphenols is balanced to the level of fruit flavour and depth and that acidity adds freshness and definition, referring to the French approach that values structure and balance in wine over absolute power and depth. Red wines spend 12-18 months in oak barriques prior to final blending and bottling. Wine is stored in oak primarily to soften tannins and further stabilise polyphenol components in the wine. Red wines that have been properly conditioned in oak have a gentler, more complex tannin structure and will evolve in the bottle with less deposition of sediment than those that have not. The added sensory complexities that oak imparts should not dominate.
All vines are grown on their own roots. For the most part, each variety has been planted in a site that best matches varietally specific growth habits. Vigorous varieties have been planted in lighter soils that tend to be dryer, thereby limiting excess vigour. Less vigorous varieties have been panted in more fertile locations. All this takes time, but it is worth the wait. There is never a desire to rush things at Celestial Bay.