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Quality cool climate wine from the Orange wine growing region in New South Wales, Australia

Meteorological Matrix blog

Bloodwood wines are made entirely from grapes grown on our Griffin Road Vineyards, Orange. Although each vintage in this cool area presents its own natural challenges our aim is to produce wines which are of a consistent high quality and which are identifiably Bloodwood in style. During the processing and maturation of each wine, every effort is made to ensure that the innate Regional characteristics of the fruit are protected. To this end, sulfur additions are kept to a necessary minimum and great care is taken to protect each wine from unnecessary oxidation and handling. Pinot Noir of course, is still a pain!

Making Pinot Noir

Stephen Doyle

Every winemaker you talk to will whinge and whine about Pinot Noir.

It is amongst the most difficult of varieties to grow successfully; it needs special care in the winery and has a reputation outside the best sites of its original home of Burgundy to be disappointing in the bottle. So why do we bother? Well, winemaking is essentially legalized flagellation on a life-time scale, so why not add a bit of impossibility to the pain. And everybody needs a holy grail to get them out of bed in the morning. Given that less is more in the Pinot Noir story, this is more or less what we do to the bloody stuff at Bloodwood.
We have a mixture of clones planted on the highest, coolest and most exposed section of the Maurice vineyard. The soils are quite similar to the Riesling vineyard, but the row orientation is North South on a 25% Easterly slope. Clones planted include the original 1984 planting of 85% MV6 with the balance a fairly casual mixture of 777; 114 and 115. The vineyard is Scott-Henry trained, and strictly hand pruned to around what I imagine to be 2 tonnes per hectare. I say imagine as we usually only end up with about 400 litres from the .6 hectares or so currently under vine. The grapes are gathered at around 13.5 Beaume and destalked 100% into a purpose built open fermenter with heading boards attached. The ferment is normally conducted on natural yeasts (although the dominant yeast established in the winery over the years is probably EC1118) and fermented cool. Temperature during primary ferment rarely gets above 20 C and the ferment is subjected to a total submersion regime for the duration with gentle pumping over as required to keep the yeast happy. Malo-lactic fermentation, if it occurs, does so in barrel. I say barrel because there is rarely more thanone of them to deal with. Oak treatment is usually classy new French oak for a couple of months until it starts sneaking above the wine, followed by exhausted old barrel oak to bottling after around 12 months. In the case of oak, less is generally more. After a few months inthe cellar it is released to raptuorous applause and critical acclaim..or stunned silence as the case may be.
Then it is treated exactly as Cabernet and, it is over to you.